On Sunday Jan 28, a large crowd—up to an expected 3,000 people—are due to attend a ‘victory conference’ at Jerusalem’s Binyanei Hauma International Convention Center for an event entitled “Conference for the Victory of Israel—Settlement Brings Security: Returning to the Gaza Strip and Northern Samaria [the West Bank—ed].” The plan of the conference is to set up dozens of Israeli settlements, staffed by fanatics, in the Gaza Strip, which Israel has cleared through ethnic cleansing, involving bombing that has killed at least 25,000 Palestinians in Gaza, and forced, at minimum, three-quarters of a million Gazans to flee their homes.
The conference will be attended not just by a few fringe nuts, but by high-ranking representatives of the Likud war cabinet, as well as several MKs (Members of the Knesset).
In an article, in the Jan. 25 Times of Israel, entitled, “Thousands of Right-wing Activists Are Getting Ready to Resettle Gaza after the War,” author Shalom Yerushalmi reports, “Two Likud ministers, Culture and Sports Minister Miki Zohar and Tourism Minister Haim Katz, will speak at the conference.” This duo are rabid supporters of settlement.
Furthermore, “Additional Likud ministers are also expected to attend and speak at the event. All of the far-right Otzma Yehudit party’s cabinet ministers will be there (National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir; Minister for the Development of the Periphery, the Negev and the Galilee Yitzhak Wasserlauf; and Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu). It is also likely that fellow far-right party Religious Zionism’s ministers—Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, National Missions and Settlements Minister Orit Strock, and Immigration and Absorption Minister Ofir Sofer—will not miss the opportunity to appear before 3,000 potential voters.”
The background for this is that, as part of an agreement, in 2005, Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip, dismantling its settlements, pulling out the IDF, and leaving the territory in the hands of the Palestinian Authority. In January 2006, Hamas won the election which would then elect the Second Legislative Council.