UN officials have warned of a possible exodus of Gaza residents to Egypt in light of the displacement of the majority of the population as a result of Israeli bombardment and infiltration into the area.
Israel forced Palestinian citizens south of the Strip to leave, leading to massive overcrowding in the Egyptian border town of Rafah.
As the war reached its third month, 85% of the population of the Gaza Strip had been forced to flee their homes.
Who warns about this?
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in Qatar on Sunday, warned of mounting pressure for a mass exodus to Egypt.
The Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), Philippe Lazzarini, repeated this on Saturday, accusing Israel of paving the way for a mass exodus of Gaza residents across the border to Egypt.
In an article published by the Los Angeles Times, Lazzarini pointed to the worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the influx of displaced civilians fleeing Israeli bombardment and ground war near the border in the north and south. Attempts to relocate Palestinians to Egypt are being monitored.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, said in Geneva on Wednesday that it was important to stress that this process of population eviction should not be encouraged, encouraged or imposed.
Egypt, Jordan and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have previously warned against efforts to displace residents of Gaza, while Israel and the United States have rejected the idea.
Will Israel force Palestinians to leave Gaza?
A spokesman for the Coordination Commission for Civil Affairs in the Palestinian Territories (COGAT) commented: “There was, never was, and never will be an Israeli plan to relocate Gazans to Egypt. This is not true.”
But members of the Israeli government have publicly supported the idea of Palestinians leaving the Gaza Strip.
Last month, Finance Minister Bezalel Smodrich wrote on Facebook, “Welcome to the voluntary immigration of Gaza Arabs to countries around the world.”
Israeli Intelligence Minister Gila Kamliel called for voluntary resettlement of Palestinians outside the Gaza Strip for humanitarian reasons.
Former Israeli officials have suggested in television interviews that Egypt could establish sprawling tent cities in the Sinai desert with international funding.
What is legal opinion?
Expulsion of civilians is prohibited under the Geneva Conventions, the basis of international humanitarian law.
“If it’s done in the context of an armed conflict, it’s a war crime,” said Sheila Bailon, an international human rights lawyer and former UN adviser.
Deportation or forcible transfer of people is listed as a crime against humanity under the International Criminal Court.
Bailon explained that leaders do not need to make an overt announcement of the need for people to leave for it to be considered forced deportation, stressing that if living conditions are impossible for people, they have no choice.
He noted several successful convictions for forced displacement of civilians, including the Special Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the Special Tribunal for Sierra Leone and the International Criminal Court.
What is the historical context?
In 1948, more than 760,000 Palestinians were displaced during the war that followed the establishment of the State of Israel, and about 80% of Gaza’s population are refugees or the children and grandchildren of refugees. Nakba.
There are approximately 6 million Palestinian refugees in the region registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).
Further displacement occurred during the 1967 war, when Israel occupied the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
What do other countries think?
Days after the outbreak of war in Gaza, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called on Gazans to “resolutely stay on their land”.
Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, followed by Jordan in 1994.
During a conference in Doha, in the presence of Guterres, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi criticized Israel’s planned efforts to evacuate Gaza of its inhabitants.
Also, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken flatly rejected the idea of evicting Palestinians from the Gaza Strip while Israel fights the Islamist movement (Hamas).
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