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Israelis who have been planning since October 7, 2023 for the eventual resettlement of Gush Katif, or at least parts of Gaza that were formerly home to thousands of Israelis, are set to meet at 7 pm on Sunday at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem.

The event was organized by Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan and the chairperson of the Nachala movement, Daniella Weiss.


“We need to take this area back and establish a settlement in Gaza,” Dagan said in a statement. “We need to start in the north of the Gaza Strip. The area where Elei Sinai, Nitzanit, and Dugit used to be located … It’s close to Sderot, and that’s where the first settlements will be built.”

Nevertheless, Dagan acknowledged, “Without the government, it won’t work. We’re not challenging Netanyahu, although our position is unequivocal.”

Sderot is located less than a mile from Israel’s border with Gaza, and was among the 22 Jewish communities attacked by Hamas-led terrorists on October 7.

Israeli leaders who include Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant have repeatedly denied plans to allow Israelis to resettle Gaza, largely in response to ongoing warnings from the Biden Administration and other international leaders that such a move would be met with grave consequences.

Netanyahu has said at nearly every press briefing that Israel will not remain in Gaza as a governing entity once the three goals of the current Swords of Iron War are met: destroying the governing and military abilities of Hamas, return of all of Israel’s hostages still in captivity, and ensuring the enclave can never again become a threat to the Jewish State by Israel retaining overall security control.

“I hold here Hitler’s book ‘Mein Kampf’ in Arabic. Our fighters found this book in civilians’ homes in the Gaza Strip. They found extensive antisemitic and Nazi literature there. This is what they educate their children on,” Netanyahu told journalists at a briefing on Saturday night.

Therefore, I insist that after we eliminate Hamas, what is called ‘the day after’, in Gaza there will be no element that educates its children, not only for terrorism but also for the destruction of Israel, for the destruction of the entire Jewish people.”

Multiple Israeli lawmakers — including several ministers in the Netanyahu government — are expected to address participants at the convention, which is sponsored by dozens of NGOs, including the Samaria Regional Council, Komemiyut, Kehilat Ha’Ir Aza, Ribonut, Torat Lechima, Bochrim Le’Chaim, Maoz and Nachala.

Among the speakers will be Likud Culture and Sports Minister Miki Zohar, and Likud Tourism Minister Haim Katz. Seven other members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party are expected to speak as well, along with ministers and lawmakers from National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s Otzma Yehudit party and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich’s Religious Zionism party.

Since the Oct. 7 invasion of Israel and massacre of more than 1,200 people by thousands of terrorists, activists have been working hard on developing plans for new settlements to replace those that were destroyed, and their residents expelled, during Israel’s 2005 Disengagement from Gaza.

The new communities the activists hope to build have already been named, and garinim (core groups) formed by those who intend to become the first residents. Discussions have been taking place for months over the legal aspects of resettling the enclave, which was not annexed to Israel following the 1967 Six Day War during which the region was captured from Egypt, which occupied Gaza during the 1948 War of Independence.

Thus far, at least seven core groups have been formed, including one intending to settle in Gaza City itself. But the new towns will not carry the names of those that were destroyed, whose residents were expelled by the government of then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Instead, the new communities will be named for Israeli soldiers killed in action in the enclave.

The names of the towns that are planned are to be presented during Sunday’s gathering.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.