Itamaraty has already selected and approved 50 names of residents of the Gaza Strip to be included in the new list that will be sent to the governments of Israel and Egypt to be authorized to leave the war-torn Palestinian territory towards Brazil.
Another six people have their documents under analysis, and the final group could include another 20 or 30 people, due to the worsening security situation in the southern part of the region, which is expected to be the subject of a ground operation by Israel as soon as the destruction of the Hamas terrorist group’s infrastructure in the northern half of Gaza meets Tel Aviv.
The first wave removed by Itamaraty from Gaza arrived in Brazil on Tuesday (14), after a month-long saga between removals, waiting for exit authorization and, finally, the opening of the border at the Rafah post, which connects Gaza to Egypt .
It had 32 people, 22 of whom were Brazilian and the rest were Palestinians in the immigration process and their relatives. The work is now much more complex and challenging for Brazilian diplomacy, which wants to send the list requesting exit permission by the beginning of next week.
The reason is the nature of the list, which will have more Palestinians than Brazilians. Several relatives of the group that have already been repatriated were included, including older siblings, grandparents and grandparents. There is no certainty that these people will be allowed to leave.
The process is complex. After Itamaraty checks relatives and documentation, the list is sent to authorities in Cairo, which receives refugees in transit and does not want any immigration, and Tel Aviv, which does not want to see Hamas terrorists infiltrating groups leaving Gaza.
In addition, diplomacy from Qatar and the United States, mediators of the agreement that allowed people to leave Gaza 18 days ago, are also informed. But the final veto power belongs to Israel and Egypt.
It’s a race against time. On Thursday (16), Israel began sending out leaflets to residents of Khan Yunis, a city home to Brazilian families, asking residents to leave their homes for the coast — thus anticipating more incisive action in the region, which is already the target of aerial bombings. .
An additional complication is the fact that the new Itamaraty group is not concentrated, like the first, but in several different locations in the Gaza Strip.
The Brazilian chancellor, Mauro Vieira, had a meeting to detail the procedures for the second withdrawal on Friday afternoon (17). President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) spoke with his Israeli counterpart, Isaac Herzog, on Thursday (16) — he thanked them for the first permissions and has already forwarded the topic of the second ones.
Here comes a political component that diplomats do not control. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government is irritated with Brazil due to Lula’s repeated statements about the war that Israel is waging in Gaza after Hamas attacked its territory and killed 1,200 people on October 7.
On the eve of the Brazilians’ arrival, Lula suggested that repatriation depended on “the good will of Israel”, which he has already accused of promoting genocide in Gaza — the term has special resonance in a country that rose from the Nazi Holocaust.
Upon receiving the repatriates at Brasília airport, the president went further and compared the Hamas attack to Israeli retaliation, saying that both were terrorism. There were protests in the Jewish community, including from members close to the federal PT.
People involved with the negotiations for the first wave claim that there was no sign of any Israeli resistance to releasing the Brazilians, contrary to what left-wing figures such as PT president Gleisi Hoffmann said.
The biggest problem, they point out, is Brazil’s size in the political game in the Middle East and even the contingent that had to leave. The United States, a central actor in the war and Israel’s biggest ally, had 1,600 people to repatriate — until last week, they had not managed to remove 1,000.
Now, however, it is uncertain whether the bitterness in Lula’s relations with Netanyahu will be able to influence the process. Diplomats are betting that not, remembering that Indonesia, a country that does not even recognize the Jewish State, was on the first list of authorizations.
In addition to the 32 names from Gaza, Brazil has already repatriated a group of 32 residents of the West Bank and 1,410 Brazilians who had been in Israel since the start of the war.