A document leaked from Israeli sources reveals proposed plans to relocate Palestinians of the Gaza Strip, sparking concerns over potential ethnic cleansing and violations of international law.

Al Jazeera’s Khalid Majzoub investigated the leaked documents, which outline a series of measures aimed at moving Palestinian residents out of Gaza.

Israeli authorities reportedly asked residents in the northern part of the Gaza Strip to relocate to the south, citing safety concerns. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have also called for the evacuation of all civilians from Gaza City southwards for their own safety and protection.

Despite the relocation recommendations, Israel has continued its military operations in the southern Gaza, including bombing the routes that the displaced residents were instructed to take. This raised doubts about the true intent behind the relocation efforts.

Israeli officials promote the idea of temporarily relocating Palestinians in Gaza to Egypt, implying that Egypt could provide housing for the displaced population. The officials repeatedly claimed that this was a temporary measure, and the Palestinians could return home once the hostilities ended.

An Israeli think tank, the Misgav Institute for National Security and Zionist Strategy, published the document titled ‘The Plan for Resettlement and Final Rehabilitation in Egypt of the Entire Population of Gaza’ on 17 October. The think tank is run by the former advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The document points out that there is currently a unique and rare opportunity to evacuate the entire Gaza Strip. The report estimates that the total amount that will be required to be transferred to Egypt to finance the project will be on the order of about 5 to 8 billion dollars.

The document adds: Immediate stimulus of this magnitude into the Egyptian economy would provide a tremendous and immediate benefit and the Gaza strip would in turn be used to provide high-quality housing for many Israeli citizens who would resettle there.

Another document, leaked from the Israeli Intelligence Ministry and not meant for the public eye, outlines a plan to transfer Gaza citizens to the Sinai Peninsula. The plan envisions the creation of tent cities, a humanitarian corridor, and the construction of cities in northern Sinai. A buffer zone inside Egypt would be established to prevent evacuated residents from returning, according to the document.

Al Jazeera journalist Majzoub also points to Egypt’s refusal to allow an influx of refugees from Gaza and the Gazans’ fear of a second catastrophe. The first catastrophe occurred in 1948 when 750,000 Palestinians were evicted at gunpoint by Zionist forces. The catastrophe is known as Nakba.

UN human rights experts expressed concerns about potential ethnic cleansing and violations of international law.

“Israel has already carried out mass ethnic cleansing of Palestinians under the fog of war,” a UN human rights expert noted.

The UN human rights expert added that: “In the name of self-defence, Israel is seeking to justify what would amount to ethnic cleansing. Any continued military operations by Israel have gone well beyond the limits of international law. The international community must stop these egregious violations of international law now, before tragic history is repeated. Time is of the essence. Palestinians and Israelis both deserve to live in peace, equality of right, dignity and freedom.”