The resettlement of the Palestinian refugees of the Gaza Strip
This thesis examines the political and socioeconomic consequences of Israeli policies of resettlement on the Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip. It does so by arguing that the resettlement schemes undertaken by the Israeli authorities in the Gaza Strip are part of a continuous policy to further disperse the Palestinian refugees. This policy has its roots in Herzl's early call to expel Palestinians from Palestine, and materializes in the 1948 exodus. The thesis argues that political, military and socioeconomic measures undertaken by the Israeli authorities do not conform with their humanitarian claims -to improve the living conditions of Gaza Strip refugees. Israeli measures can instead be seen to conform to a type of modern counter-insurgency doctrine, promoted by security forces, in response to revolutionary guerrilla warfare or insurgency. The concept of resettlement, it is suggested, is an integral part of this doctrine. The primary research findings demonstrate that the "civic action" projects, ostensibly designed to improve the living conditions of Gaza Strip refugees, have not succeeded in meeting their real purpose, that of pacification. Instead, the repressive military and political measures used by the Israeli military authorities have sharpened the military and political consciousness of all Gaza refugees. Indeed, by maintaining the cohesive cultural and political identity, the refugees relocated to the housing projects have thwarted the Israeli policy of divide and rule, contributing as much to the strength of the Palestinian national movement as their compatriots remaining in the refugee camps.