OpinionIsrael at War

It’s time for a Gaza Buyout

Billions of dollars would be better spent in order to give Gazans a better life.

Palestinians seen with their belongings after fleeing combat zones in the Gaza Strip on June 28, 2024. Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.
Palestinians seen with their belongings after fleeing combat zones in the Gaza Strip on June 28, 2024. Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.
Joseph Frager
Dr. Joseph Frager is a lifelong activist and physician. He is chairman of Israel advocacy for the Rabbinical Alliance of America, chairman of the executive committee of American Friends of Ateret Cohanim and executive vice president of the Israel Heritage Foundation.

As a possible hostage deal gets closer, the ultimate fate of the Gaza Strip needs to be addressed.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already made it clear that Israel will retain overall security control to prevent another Oct. 7. This is a stop-gap measure. It will not work as a long-term solution and simply kicks the can down the road.

The narrative about Gaza must drastically change. Oct. 7 was the wake-up call that allowing the Gaza situation to remain as it was in the past is totally unacceptable.

With upwards of 70% of the Gaza population supportive of what Hamas did on Oct. 7 and many of them complicit in Hamas’s atrocities, the military victory Israel is completing is not enough.

Gaza has been a festering sore for 75 years. The Arab world has used it to attack Israel at every turn. From 1948 to 1967, Egypt controlled Gaza but did little to improve its brethren’s lot.

After 22 Gaza Jewish communities were removed by Israel in 2005 in what the world calls the “disengagement,” billions of dollars were funneled into the Strip. They were used for terrorist purposes, such as building Hamas’s tunnel network.

The idea that pouring money into Gaza will make everything just fine is not a viable option. It has failed miserably time and time again.

In yet another attempt to criticize Israel, The New York Times recently ran a story entitled, “When the Only Escape From War in Gaza Is to Buy a Way Out.”

The article estimates that 100,000 Gazans have left the Strip for Egypt. A company by the name of Hala facilitates their exit for $5,000 per person. GoFundMe states that more than $150 million has been contributed to Gazans, much of it to pay the exit cost. Those who leave do not intend to return.

Most Gazans, if given the opportunity, would likely follow the same path, but they cannot afford the fees.

Thus, inadvertently, the Times offered a solution to the Gaza problem. With generous funding, almost two million Gazans could be happily moved to Egypt or any other country that would take them in. It is estimated that Israel’s war against Hamas has already cost Israel billions of dollars. A similar sum would be more than sufficient to give Gazans a better life elsewhere.

If the international community ever put their heads together, they would realize that a Gaza Buyout is the most rational and humane solution to a very difficult problem that has lasted far too long.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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