(Photo Credit: AFP)
During an interview with Israel’s Channel 7 on 22 March, extremist Israeli minister Orit Strook said that Gaza is “part of the Land of Israel, and a day will come when we will return to it.”
Strook, who is the Israeli Minister of National Missions, commented: “Sadly, a return to the Gaza Strip will involve many casualties, just as the departure from the Gaza Strip came with many casualties,” referring to the evacuation of Israeli troops and settlers in 2005.
She further claimed that Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza was a “sin,” adding that the disengagement from the Palestinian territory will eventually be reversed.
However, Palestinians and resistance in Gaza say that Israel is “too weak” to re-occupy the territory.
Back in January, Strook also called for the demolition of hundreds of Palestinian homes.
Disengagement from Gaza was initially proposed by former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon in 2003 and was approved by the Knesset in 2005. An estimated 8,000 Israeli settlers residing in Gaza were relocated from 21 settlements following the withdrawal, with each family receiving $200,000 in compensation from the Israeli government.
Israeli troops were also required to withdraw from Gaza. The disengagement was a result of the Second Intifada that lasted for nearly five years.
Ever since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right coalition government won the 1 November 2022 elections, Tel Aviv began working on pushing its far-right policies, especially in the Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank.
The new Israeli government continuously preaches far-right and racist rhetoric regarding the Palestinians.
During a speech in Paris on 19 March, Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich claimed that the Palestinian people do not exist. He used a map of “Greater Israel” on his podium that included Jordan, the Palestinian territories, parts of Syria, and Saudi Arabia.
As a result of these incendiary statements, the Jordanian parliament on 22 March voted to expel the Israeli ambassador from the kingdom.
“These statements are provocative, racist and come from an extremist figure, and we call on the international community to condemn it,” Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said at a news conference.