UN officials and Middle East leaders have mentioned the possibility of Gazan people being driven into Egypt, given that the majority of Gazans have been uprooted and Israeli soldiers are advancing more into Palestinian territory.
That possibility brings up ominous memories of the enormous relocation of Palestinians during Israel’s establishment 75 years ago, known in the Arab world as the “Nakba” or disaster.
Since the attack on October 7, which Israeli officials claim claimed 1,200 lives and resulted in the taking of 240 prisoners, Israel has pledged to destroy Hamas. As a result of the war, approximately 18,600 Gazans have died, according to the health ministry in the region controlled by Hamas.
More than two months of fighting have forced nearly 85 percent of Gaza’s 2.4 million people from their homes, according to the United Nations, with many fleeing to the now overcrowded far-southern city of Rafah.
UN officials, including Filippo Grandi and Antonio Guterres, warn against the potential mass displacement of Gazans into Egypt, calling it destabilizing.
Egypt, Jordan, and Palestinian President Abbas oppose forced attempts to move Gazans. Israel denies a plan to relocate Gazans to Egypt but acknowledges support from some Israeli officials for Gazans leaving voluntarily.