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17 Dec, 2023 20:19

Israel should turn Gaza into an ‘Auschwitz’ – town leader

The head of Metula council has called for moving Palestinians into Lebanese refugee camps
Israel should turn Gaza into an ‘Auschwitz’ – town leader

The Gaza Strip should be completely leveled and transformed into an empty museum like the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, discouraging the Palestinians from ever trying to live there again, the head of a town council in northern Israel has argued.

“A security strip should be established from the sea to the Gaza border fence, completely empty, as a reminder of what was once there,” Metula council chief David Azoulai said in an interview with Tel Aviv’s Radio 103FM. “It should resemble the Auschwitz concentration camp.”

Palestinians should be forced into Lebanese refugee camps, Azoulai said. “Tell everyone in Gaza to go to the beaches. Navy ships should load the terrorists onto the shores of Lebanon.”

The entire Gaza Strip should be emptied and leveled flat, just like Auschwitz. Let it become a museum, showcasing the capabilities of the state of Israel and dissuading anyone from living in the Gaza Strip. This is what must be done to give them a visual representation.”

Around 19,000 people have been killed in the Palestinian enclave since Israel’s war with Hamas began on October 7, according to Gaza Health Ministry figures. Hamas fighters triggered the conflict by launching surprise attacks on villages in southern Israel, killing more than 1,100 people and taking hundreds of hostages back to Gaza.

“What occurred on October 7 was a second Holocaust,” Azoulai said, referring to the Hamas attacks. “Lebanon already has refugee camps, and that's where they should go. We should leave Gaza desolate and destroyed to serve as a museum, demonstrating the madness of the people who lived there.”

Azoulai’s town, Metula, lies on Israel’s border with Lebanon. He warned that if Israel doesn’t show itself strong in the battle with Hamas, it will embolden Lebanese militant group Hezbollah to attack from the north. “Hezbollah is observing the situation in the south, and if we don’t address it properly, they will see it as a weakness. No matter how strong terrorism may be, we cannot live in fear or uproot people from their homes. We must act decisively.”

A UN official claimed last week that Israel was preparing to force the Palestinians into Egypt and make it impossible for them to return to Gaza. Israeli officials have denied trying to permanently displace Gazans, but two West Jerusalem lawmakers wrote last month in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that they would like countries around the world to welcome Palestinians who choose to relocate as refugees.