["Israel" wishes to make Gaza an ‘Egyptian problem’ by evicting Palestinians from lands that belong to them (Yasser Qudih / Xinhua via Getty Images)]
Those interested in the Palestinian cause should recall the 1948 Nakba or Palestinian Catastrophe while building analogies with the Zionist regime’s plans for Palestine. Recalling it would evoke images of Zionist militias displacing close to 700,000 Palestinians, the destruction and depopulation of over 500 Palestinian villages and the denial of the just right of return.
The Nakba also evokes images of horror, terror and ethnic cleansing for many with Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish describing the catastrophe as an ‘extended present that promises to continue in the future.’ Not much has changed over the following decades where in 2023, the current genocide being committed by the Israeli occupation forces in the occupied Gaza strip is wiping out generations of Palestinians. If examined closely, much of the blueprints and machinations being implemented by the Netanyahu administration mirrors those of the 1948 catastrophe.
The reasons are obvious. During the 1947-49 Palestinian war, 80% of Palestinian inhabitants which now constitute modern-day "Israel" or a Zionist colonial project from the Balfour Declaration, were expelled and evicted. Almost half of the 700,000 Palestinians inhabitants were expelled prior to the Zionist regime declaring its so-called independence in 1948. This was followed by geographical names throughout Palestinian land being replaced with Hebrew names with non-Jewish historical sites being decimated, destroyed and damaged. 80% of Palestinian mosques were also destroyed while artifacts and archives were removed from museums. These realities clearly underline the systematic, comprehensive and complete erasure of Palestinian identity which continues to date from an occupation force which has blood on its hands.
Now in 2023, as the occupation forces pound Gaza and death tolls exceed the tally from the Srebrenica Massacre of 1995 in Bosnia by the Serbian forces, the Israeli Intelligence Ministry drafted a so called wartime ‘proposal’ to transfer the population of the Gaza Strip to the Sinai Peninsula which has drawn the ire of Palestinians amid heightened tensions between Tel Aviv and Cairo. The typical response from Benjamin Netanyahu’s fascist administration has been to crassly downplay the report, its conclusions and recommendations, but the report clearly indicates that "Israel" wishes to make Gaza an ‘Egyptian problem’ by evicting Palestinians from lands that belong to them.
The demagogic document cannot be divorced from the harrowing memories of the 1948 Nakba for the Palestinians where an entire population was displaced, evicted and thrown out through a colonial conspiracy to establish Zionist supremacy. It hence, comes as no surprise that the spokesperson for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Nabil Abu Rudeineh stated that Nakba 2.0 will not be allowed to take place and any transfer of the Palestinian population is a redline that should not be crossed. However, while the outrage is completely justifiable, those who have a deeper understanding of "Israel’s" toxic history would acknowledge that the so called 2023 ‘concept paper’ or Nakba 2.0, is not a novelty. It is a plan that "Israel" has been planning for decades and has sought to implement as state policy.
The wider goal has always been the mass murder of Palestinians as exemplified in more than 10,000 deaths of Palestinians in 2023. Furthermore, wiping out the Palestinian identity as has been the case in 1948 is a strategy endorsed by demagogues such as Israeli settler advocate, Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben Gvir. This paper from the Intelligence Ministry is just a preview of what "Israel" actually seeks to achieve. The understanding is that once Palestinians cross over or are evicted from Gaza into Egypt, this will constitute permanent displacement of the population as demonstrated clearly by the Israeli orders three days prior to air strikes which was for Gazans to ‘Go South of Wadi Gaza.’ While the occupation forces justified the evacuation upon the frail premise of ‘Palestinian Security’, the real objective is to kill innocent women, children and the disabled, bomb hospitals, schools, refugee camps and parks with a full blockade preventing fuel and medical supplies to be enforced. The goal is to eliminate Palestinian identity- pure and simple.
Soon after Israeli calls for Gazans to move into the Sinai Peninsula, Former Deputy Israeli Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said that people in Gaza should relocate to the Sinai in temporary tent cities until the onslaught has come to an end. This mirrors what unfolded as a dire predicament for Palestinian refugees after the 1948 Nakba, where camps across the occupied territories in erstwhile Palestine, sprung up due to mass displacement and the systematic genocide of a population to which the land of Palestine truly belongs to. In Gaza, 70% of the population are descendants from historical Palestine in 1948 and these grand plans of eviction from the Zionist regime remains a cause for concern for many.
According to Egyptian comedian Bassem Yousef, this blueprint has a familiar tone to it. Note that Egypt’s reaction is not that of a country which is not open to accommodating Palestinians but a deeper understanding in Cairo exists that such a move would liquidate the Palestinian cause. Reports of mounting Western pressure on Egypt in the form of incentives such as reducing Cairo’s mounting national debt and economic packages have surfaced, should Palestinians be allowed to enter the Sinai.
The fact that the world has turned a blind eye to the most toxic of schemes being operationalized by the Zionist regime is a cause for concern. There is little doubt that "Israel’s" concept paper on Gazans and the Sinai Peninsula is Nakba 2.0.
[The writer, Hamzah Rifaat, is a host, anchor, analyst, and visiting fellow at the Stimson Center in Washington D.C.,2016. The above article is originally published by Al Mayadeen. Except the title, ummid.com has not changed or modified the original article. Views expressed are presonal and author's own.]
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