Israel proposes relocating Palestinians out of Gaza; The US calls to ‘immediately cease’ that request

Joe Biden’s Government criticized two Israeli ministers for their call to resettle the Palestinians outside the Gaza Stripa rare public rebuke that underscores the deepening divisions between the United States and Israel over the fate of the territory.

The rhetoric of ministers Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir “is incendiary and irresponsible” and “should stop immediately”State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement Tuesday.

“We have been clear, consistent and unequivocal that Gaza is Palestinian land and will remain land Palestinewithout Hamas already having control of its future and without terrorist groups capable of threatening Israel,” Miller added.

The State Department has repeatedly rejected those calls for resettlement, but he has rarely mentioned by name the ministers who have made them. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz He reported that Ben-Gvir, Minister of National Security, had presented a plan that would see Palestinians from Gaza emigrate to other countries. Smotrich, the finance minister, had called for Jewish settlements in Gaza, according to Haaretz.

“More than 70% of Israeli public opinion supports the humanitarian solution of encouraging the voluntary emigration of Arabs from Gaza and their absorption in other countries,” Smotrich said on X on Wednesday.

The statements by the two ministers have raised new concerns about the treatment that Israel gives to the Palestinians after Hamas militants attacked Israel on October 7, killing around 1,200 people. Gaza health authorities have reported that Nearly 22,000 Palestinians have died in Israel’s military campaign.

Miller noted that Israel has repeatedly told the United States that such statements “do not reflect the policy of the Israeli Government,” according to the statement.

In a post to X later on Tuesday, Ben-Gvir rejected Miller’s criticism and said the government would “do what is best for the State of Israel.”

“We greatly value the friendship of the United States, but respectfully, we are not another star on the American flag,” he said.