An Israeli minister suggested on sunday that the international community should not subsidize the rehabilitation of the war-torn Gaza Strip, but rather promote "voluntary resettlement" of Palestinians from the region all over the world. Any idea of Palestinian dispersal is fraught with controversy in the Arab world, given the conflict that resulted in Israel's birth 75 years ago resulted in the evacuation or forced relocation of 760,000 Palestinians, a phenomenon known as the Nakba, or "catastrophe."

According to Gaza's Hamas-run housing ministry, over 40% of homes have been damaged or destroyed during the weeks of combat between Gaza-based Hamas terrorists and Israeli forces.

After the conflict, Israeli Intelligence minister Gila Gamliel stated that one "option" would be "to promote voluntary resettlement of Palestinians in Gaza, for humanitarian reasons, outside of the Strip."

In an article published in The Jerusalem Post, she suggested that "instead of funneling money to rebuild Gaza or to the failed UNRWA, the international community can assist in the costs of resettlement, helping the people of Gaza build new lives in their new host countries".

UNRWA is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees.

"Gaza has long been thought of as a problem without an answer," Gamliel noted in an email. "We must try something new, and we call on the international community to help make it a reality."

"It could be a win-win solution: a win for those civilians of Gaza who seek a better life and a win for israel after this devastating tragedy."

Memories of ‘catastrophe’

The Israel-Hamas conflict is in its seventh week, following massive Hamas strikes on southern israel on october 7, prompting retaliatory Israeli bombardments and a military invasion in Gaza.

According to israel, when Hamas terrorists stormed across the militarised Gaza border, they murdered roughly 1,200 people, primarily civilians, and kidnapped about 240 more.

According to the Hamas administration, Israel's retaliatory military attack in Palestinian territory has killed 13,000 people, largely civilians.

Palestinian refugees and their descendants make up the majority of the Gaza Strip's population. According to UNRWA, the present violence has displaced more than 1.6 million people.

This mass exodus has brought up memories of the Nakba, and some Israeli officials have advocated relocating Palestinians to adjacent Egypt, an option Cairo has rejected.

According to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, "People should be able to stay in Gaza, their home." Palestinian President Mahmud abbas cautioned Blinken that pushing the residents of Gaza out would be a "second Nakba."

The Oslo Accords of 1993 were supposed to lead to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, but Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have been deadlocked since 2014.

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