Israel reportedly planning ‘voluntary migration’ of Gaza residents to Congo and Saudi Arabia

Netanyahu’s coalition government is holding talks with countries such as Congo


Gazans in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip (Photo: Getty)

Israeli officials are holding talks with various countries over the “voluntary” resettlement of Gaza residents following the Israel-Hamas war, according to reports.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government asked countries including Congo to accept thousands of Gazans. 

A senior source in the security cabinet told the Hebrew site Zman Israel: “Congo will be willing to take in migrants, and we’re in talks with others.”

Netanyahu said he was working to facilitate the “voluntary migration” of Gazans to other countries. Saudia Arabia is also believed to have been discussed as an option as the country employs millions in its booming construction industry.

Responding to Likud MK Danny Danon during a party meeting, he said: “Our problem is [finding] countries that are willing to absorb Gazans, and we are working on it.”

Danon had claimed that “the world is already discussing the possibilities of voluntary immigration.”

On Tuesday, he presented his five-step plan for post-war Gaza at a conference in the Knesset which included voluntary emigration.

He had earlier in November published an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal along with Yesh Atid MK Ram Ben Barak. In it, he called for “countries around the world to accept limited numbers of Gazan families who have expressed a desire to relocate.”

However, Ben Barak later claimed he had “not been completely understood.”

Meanwhile, intelligence minister Gila Gamliel said that “voluntary migration is the best and most realistic program for the day after the fighting ends.”

Speaking during the conference held in the Knesset to examine possibilities for postwar Gaza on Tuesday, Gamliel said: “At the end of the war, Hamas rule will collapse. There are no municipal authorities; the civilian population will be entirely dependent on humanitarian aid.

“There will be no work, and 60% of Gaza’s agricultural land will become security buffer zones.”

He added: “The Gaza problem is not just our problem. The world should support humanitarian emigration, because that’s the only solution I know.”

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