The October 7 Hamas attack and the months since have been devastating for both Israeli and Palestinian societies. After months of war in Gaza, Israel has begun to signal a shift in strategy towards a new phase of this conflict. This shift has raised questions of what comes next for Gaza. Far-right ministers in Netanyahu’s government, such as Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir, have made concerning remarks calling for the expulsion of Palestinians. Ben-Gvir even asserted that such a move would pave the way for Israel to rebuild Jewish settlements in Gaza.
The Times of Israel reported last week that the “voluntary” resettlement of Palestinians from Gaza is slowly becoming an official policy of the government, with conversations taking place with several countries about the potential absorption of Palestinians from Gaza.
Any ideas of expelling Palestinians from Gaza or establishing Israeli settlements within the strip are unacceptable. The Biden administration has called such rhetoric “inflammatory and irresponsible,” and Vice President Harris’ has stated that “under no circumstances will the United States permit the forced relocation of Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank, the besiegement of Gaza, or the redrawing of the borders of Gaza.” Still these comments have done little to curb the far-right.
It is vital that Congress makes it clear that the United States will not allow this to happen. That is why we are supporting a new letter being circulated by Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD). The letter commends the Biden-Harris administration’s strong opposition to the forced transfer of Palestinians out of Gaza and urges the administration to continue to reiterate the United States’ firm commitment to this position.
Any forced expulsion of Palestinians from Gaza would only exacerbate the trauma and pain Palestinian civilians in Gaza are already experiencing as a result of this conflict and cause more regional tension and conflict for decades to come. Israel does not need to become mired in yet another protracted occupation which would bring us even further from an end to the conflict.
Click here to ask your member of Congress to sign on to this important letter.
You can see the letter here.