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Israeli official suggests purchasing islands in Greece as 'haven' during wartime

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This picture shows the uninhabited island of Gramvousa off the coast of Gramvousa Peninsula in northwestern Crete, Greece. (Photo via Twitter)

An Israeli official has reportedly floated the idea of buying uninhabited Greek islands in the Mediterranean Sea in order to evacuate and relocate Israeli settlers in case of a missile attack or natural disaster events.

Avri Steiner, a representative of the Blue and White centrist and liberal political alliance led by Israeli minister of military affairs Benny Gantz, made the suggestion during a board meeting of a subsidiary of the Jewish National Fund (JNF), according to a report published in the Hebrew-language Maariv daily newspaper. 

At a board meeting on Thursday, Steiner said that the purchase of Greek islands should be explored as an option for evacuating Israeli citizens in situations of disaster or war.

“This is an idea for a project that arose following foreign publications that missiles could hit” the Israeli-occupied territories, he argued.

Steiner went on to say that retaliatory missiles could reach as far as the central Israeli resort city of Netanya during the 33-day-long Israeli military onslaught on Lebanon in the summer of 2006, and they may reach further south today.

“The idea I came up with considered the question: what can give us an answer? What do we do in a possible scenario of threatening a large population?” he argued.

The Blue and White official claimed that there were 40 uninhabited islands in Greece, which Israeli authorities could look to purchase and create infrastructure.

The suggestion was rejected by a majority of board members, who said that it went against the aims of the JNF, which deals in the purchase of Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank.

Last month, Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement said it had flown a drone over the Israeli-occupied territories for a reconnaissance mission, adding that the aircraft returned untouched after completing the mission successfully.

“The Islamic resistance launched 'Hassan' drone into the occupied Palestinian territories” on February 18, Hezbollah said in a statement, adding that the unmanned aerial vehicle roamed "the targeted area for 40 minutes on a reconnaissance mission, which extended along 70 kilometers."

The development came only two days after Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said the resistance group was making rockets and drones on its own and had the capability to turn them into precision projectiles.

“We have the ability to convert our rockets into precision missiles and we started the process years ago,” he said, adding that Hezbollah possesses thousands of rockets that the enemies are unable to locate.


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