Netanyahu Suggests 'New US-Built Port Could Help Deport Palestinians'

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Mar 21, 2024 - 09:00 AM

Via Middle East Eye

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly suggested that the new US-built makeshift port off Gaza, which was installed to help ship aid to the besieged enclave, could be used to deport Palestinians.

Washington earlier this month announced plans for the military to construct a "temporary" floating dock on Gaza's coast to allow aid to enter more easily. "A temporary pier will enable a massive increase in the amount of humanitarian assistance getting into Gaza every day," US President Joe Biden said.

US Army image: A 7th Sustainment Brigade Soldier guides a lorry on a floating pier during the Joint Logistics Over the Shore exercise in the US.

However, speaking at a private meeting of the Knessett's Foreign Affairs and Security Committee, Netanyahu suggested the port could also facilitate the removal of Palestinians from Gaza.

Netanyahu said there was "no obstacle" to the Palestinians leaving the Gaza Strip apart from the unwillingness of other countries to accept them, according to a Kann News journalist. Below is Netanyahu's statement (machine translated) according to Kann correspondent Yaara Shapira: 

"We are looking into how to distribute the aid in Gaza through non-local entities because Hamas failed the attempts to distribute it through local entities. Private companies are also being investigated. As far as the State of Israel is concerned, there is no obstacle for the Gazans to leave, maybe even the port they are building could be used for this, but there are no countries in the world that are ready to receive them."

The suggestion was met with anger by Palestinians, who have long suggested the ultimate goal of Israel's operations in Gaza was their removal from the region.

"He never gave up his dream of a complete ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in Gaza," tweeted Mustafa Barghouti, leader of the Palestinian National Initiative, in response to the news.

With Gaza under total siege for nearly six months, the Palestinian health ministry has said that around one in three children are now acutely malnourished and two in 10,000 are dying of starvation.

Over half of the population are now on the verge of famine, with most in the northern governorates where humanitarian access is extremely limited.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation said on Monday that famine is expected in northern Gaza anytime between now and May. Israel has denied restricting the entry of aid to Gaza, claiming that the UN is responsible for blocking aid deliveries.