Does the US Want to Resettle Palestinians in Anbar Desert
Israel with the backing of the US and other western allies are working towards the resettlement of Palestinians in Iraq’s Anbar Desert. This goes back to Donald Trump’s administration’s so-called “Deal of the Century”, and potentially being taken up by the Biden administration.
In 2020, Trump said he found a new way to make peace between Israel and the Palestinians. “Israel will get the security it needs. Palestinians will get the state they crave.” But analysts said the plan gives Israel all it wants and offers Palestinians very little, a sort-of-state that will be truncated, without proper sovereignty, surrounded by Israel’s territory.
And US’s plans for continued presence in Iraq should be noted, and it’s about more than military bases. The US military was looking at setting up a second military base in Iraq’s western Al-Anbar province to complement the Ain al-Asad Air Base. There’s no plans by the US to withdraw troops from Iraq, rather expand its bases.
Experts reasoned that may be the continued presence was aimed at supporting Washington’s interests and backing terrorism, than fighting it.
There’s More to US Military in Anbar
However, it has come to light that the US and Israel may be looking at creating an alternative homeland for Palestinian refugees in the Anbar Desert. This region is the largest and one of the most sparsely populated governorates in Iraq. It borders with Syria, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
But some analysts have ruled off plans to resettle Palestinians in Anbar as conspiracy theories. Some believe it may carry weigh given Israel’s ongoing bombardment and airstrikes in Gaza and US and other allies not calling a ceasefire.
Moreover, a recent leaked document proposed the displacement of 2.4 million Palestinians from Gaza to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. The current actions in Gaza could give rise to Nakba 2.0.
Displacement of Palestinians is Imminent
In recent years, Iraq has seen increasing visits by the American and British politicians, intelligence and personnel from their respective armed forces – publicly and covert. The Iraqi government fears that Anbar might be manipulated to serve US’s agendas.
Muhammad al-Halbousi, the Parliament Speaker and representative of Anbar, in 2022 suggested the formation of an independent region in Anbar. He is also said to be holding extensive meetings with Arab tribal sheikhs in the governorate to create an autonomous Anbar.
Many Iraqi politicians see this as supporting Washington’s Deal of the Century project – resettlement of Palestinians.