Yes, Israel is Trying to Deport Palestinians into Egypt – UN Official

Head of UNRWA, Philippe Lazzarini, has slammed the Israeli plan to displace Palestinians. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

Many Palestinians in Gaza are being left with only one option: Leaving the besieged enclave altogether, according to UNRWA chief, Philippe Lazzarini.

The Israeli army is setting the stage for the mass expulsion of Palestinians into Egypt while creating conditions that will make it impossible for them to ever return to their destroyed homes in Gaza, the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency chief has said.

“The United Nations and several member states, including the US, have firmly rejected forcibly displacing Gazans out of the Gaza Strip,” UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) chief Philippe Lazzarini wrote on Saturday in a Los Angeles Times op-ed.

“But the developments we are witnessing point to attempts to move Palestinians into Egypt, regardless of whether they stay there or are resettled elsewhere.”

An Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman denied Lazzarini’s accusation, saying Tel Aviv has never had a plan to push Gazans into Egypt. However, two Israeli lawmakers wrote last month in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that they would like to see countries around the world welcome Gazan refugees who choose to relocate.

The ongoing Israel’s aggression on Gaza has driven more than 1.8 million people from their homes, the largest forced displacement of Palestinians since 1948, Lazzarini said.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 17,997 Palestinians have been killed and 49,229 in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7. Palestinian and international estimates say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children. 

The Palestinian casualties have included more than 270 people who were sheltering in UNRWA facilities at the time they were killed. Lazzarini said many of those shelters were in areas of central and southern Gaza that were thought to be safer than the north, where Israel’s bombing campaign was primarily focused.

“The sad reality is that Gazans are not safe anywhere: not at home, not in a hospital, not under the UN flag, not in the north, middle, or south,” he added.

The survivors are now besieged and holed up in a “tiny area” of southern Gaza, near the Egyptian border, Lazzarini said. Many are being left with only one option: Leaving the besieged enclave altogether.

“Judging by policy and humanitarian discussions underway, it is hard to believe that the Palestinians of Gaza who are displaced today will be allowed –or even willing– to return to their destroyed homes anytime soon,” the UN official said.

A UN Security Council resolution that would have brokered a ceasefire in Gaza was vetoed by the US on Friday.

(RT, PC)

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