On Monday, a confidential Israeli Ministry of Intelligence document was exposed, detailing a proposal to relocate over 2 million Gaza Palestinians to Egypt’s Sinai desert, which was shared with an Israeli news outlet.
The ten-page report, dated October 13, suggests that Israel should create temporary tent communities in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula for the Gaza residents. These tent settlements would later be transformed into lasting towns, with a designated “barren area” of several kilometers acting as a buffer zone between them and the Israeli border.
The plan entails informing Gaza’s 2.3 million inhabitants that “there is no longer any hope of returning to the territories that Israel will occupy in the near future,” and that “Allah made sure that you lost this land because of the leadership of Hamas.”
According to the document, the success of this plan would rely on U.S. support. The U.S. could exert pressure on Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates to contribute resources or accept displaced individuals. Additionally, Spain, Greece, and Canada could be persuaded to take in refugees from Gaza.
Sicha Mekomit has characterized the plan as equivalent to the ethnic cleansing of Gaza. However, the Ministry of Intelligence’s perspective is that it would be presented to the international community as resulting in “fewer casualties among the civilian population” compared to the ongoing cycle of Hamas attacks and extensive Israeli responses.
Despite its name, the Ministry of Intelligence does not oversee the activities of Israel’s security and intelligence agencies. Instead, it formulates studies and policy papers for government review, which then decides whether to implement them.
The ministry is led by Gila Gamliel, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party. Gamliel is the second Netanyahu ally in recent weeks to suggest the ethnic cleansing of Gaza, with the Meshgav Institute, a right-wing think tank, publishing a similar policy paper recently, describing the war as “a rare opportunity” for the “relocation and final settlement of the entire Gaza population.”
The Meshgav Institute is headed by Meir Ben Shabat, who served as Netanyahu’s national security adviser from 2017 to 2021. The paper was posted online but later deleted after it drew international condemnation.
Netanyahu’s office has indicated that the ministry’s document represents “initial thoughts” on Gaza’s future and will not be considered until after the war has concluded.
The Times of Israel reported:
“The document is being downplayed by government officials, with the Prime Minister’s Office telling Haaretz that it represents ‘initial thoughts’ on the issue, which is currently not being considered by authorities focused on the war effort and not the day after.
The document, which is dated October 13, calls for the civilian population to be moved to tent cities in northern Sinai, and eventually the building of permanent cities and the opening of a humanitarian corridor. The plan includes a several-kilometer-wide ‘sterile’ buffer zone inside Egypt, to ensure the population cannot settle on Israel’s borders.”
According to Sicha Mekomit, the document says,
“The messages [to the Gazans] should revolve around the loss of the land, that is, to make it clear that there is no longer any hope of returning to the territories that Israel will occupy in the near future … The image should be ‘Allah made sure that you lost this land because of the leadership of Hamas – there is no choice but to move to another place with the help of Your Muslim brothers.”
This is an extraordinarily cynical message aimed at justifying a grave violation of human rights to an extremely desperate population. The term “forcible transfer” refers to the coerced relocation of civilian populations as part of an organized offensive against that population.
It constitutes a crime against humanity, subject to punishment by the International Criminal Court (ICC), as explained by the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School. The ICC is presently investigating potential war crimes and crimes against humanity in Israel and Palestine.
According to Sicha Mekomit, the Israeli government is fully aware of the adverse impact on Israel’s global reputation that would arise from enforcing such a plan through coercion:
“The document suggests that if the Gaza population remains in the Strip, there will be ‘numerous Arab casualties’ during the anticipated occupation of Gaza, and this would tarnish Israel’s international image even more than deporting the population. Hence, the Ministry of Intelligence recommends promoting the permanent relocation of all Gaza residents to Sinai for these reasons.”
As per The Washington Post, Egypt and the United States have engaged in discussions about preventing the Palestinian population from being forcibly displaced from Gaza.
In a White House statement on a call, U.S. and Egyptian leaders “discussed the importance of safeguarding civilian lives, respecting international humanitarian law, and ensuring that Palestinians in Gaza are not relocated to Egypt or any other nation.”
A significant number of Gazans are already refugees or descendants of refugees who were expelled from their homes by Israel in 1948 during the tumultuous creation of the state of Israel.
Today, the theft of Palestinian homes is a well-organized endeavor, involving individuals at the highest levels of power down to the level of the settlers.
All of the above should explain why Netanyahu deliberately ignored warnings from the Israeli security services, which necessitated the invocation of the lesser-known Hannibal Directive.
Netanyahu Invoked the Hannibal Directive by Deliberately Ignoring Warnings of Impending Attack
Israeli security agencies had been cautioning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for months that his domestic policies were stoking dangerous political unrest, as reported by the New York Times (NYT) on Sunday. Officials had emphasized that internal discord was undermining the country’s security and bolstering its adversaries.
The examination of the events leading up to the recent hostilities between Israel and Gaza revealed that at one point in July, the prime minister allegedly declined to meet with a senior general who was attempting to deliver a threat warning based on classified intelligence.
Simultaneously, the NYT noted that Israeli security representatives consistently underestimated the threat posed by Hamas, including in the weeks preceding the October 7 attack on Israeli territory, which resulted in the deaths of as many as 1,400 people.
The newspaper disclosed that Israeli military intelligence had believed since May 2021 that the militant group was not inclined to launch large-scale attacks from Gaza but rather was planning an attack in the West Bank, controlled by the Palestinian Authority, a rival to Hamas.
The report also asserted that both Netanyahu and senior Israeli security officials had downplayed the threat from Hamas and hadn’t allocated sufficient resources to counter it, as they considered Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah to be more significant dangers to the Jewish state.
In September, top Israeli officials came to the conclusion that Israel could face attacks on multiple fronts in the coming weeks or months from Iran-backed militia groups. However, at that time, there was no mention of a potential attack from Gaza.
Another factor contributing to the success of the surprise assault earlier this month, according to the report, was the reduction in U.S. intelligence agencies’ tracking of the group, as they believed Israel was effectively managing the threat it posed.
When the scope of the Hamas attack was finally assessed, the government of Netanyahu ordered a massive cover-up campaign that was poorly organized.
While many senior Israeli officials have taken responsibility for their misjudgments, Prime Minister Netanyahu has been hesitant to do so. Instead, he repeatedly shifted the blame to his military and intelligence chiefs for failing to predict and inform him about Hamas’ intentions.
On Sunday, after initially posting a message on social media blaming his cabinet for failing to prevent the October 7 attack, Netanyahu deleted it and replaced it with another message, stating, “I was wrong,” and pledging full support for the heads of Israel’s security agencies.
Evidently, Netanyahu’s lust for power amidst plummeting popularity at home is driving this madman to defy any internationally recognized norms of warfare.
Overall, we are currently looking at a snapshot of the reasons for the destruction of Khazaria, the place of origin for Ashkenazi Jews centuries ago. This event led to their dispersion throughout Europe and their eventual migration to Palestine through the Zionist Movement post World War I.