The ex British Prime Minister Tony Blair categorically denied that he had discussions in Israel about the displacement of Palestinians from Gaza, as broadcast by an Israeli television network.

According to Israeli media outlet Channel 12, Tony Blair, who left the prime ministership in 2007 and was then Middle East envoy tasked with establishing Palestinian institutions, was in Israel last week.

He had meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, a member of the war cabinet, about a post-war mediator role with Hamas, Channel 12 reported.

According to this channel, it could also act as an intermediary with moderate Arab states for a “voluntary resettlement” of Gazans.

But Tony Blair’s foundation, the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, described these claims as “lies”.

They were published “without any contact with Tony Blair and his team”. “No discussion of this type took place,” the organization said in a statement issued yesterday, Monday evening.

“Tony Blair did not have such a discussion, as the idea is wrong on principle. Gazans should be able to stay and live in Gaza.”

On Sunday, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich advocated the return of Jewish settlers to the Gaza Strip after the war.

Bezalel Smotrich, head of the Religious Zionism party, said Israel should “encourage” the estimated 2.4 million Palestinians in Gaza to leave the region for other countries.

“We will help resettle these refugees in other countries in an appropriate and humane way, with the cooperation of the international community and Arab countries around us,” he added.

Hamas, which is in power in the Gaza Strip, strongly condemned these statements. “It is a war crime in addition to the current criminal attack which has no parallel in world history,” the Islamist movement said.

Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip have killed at least 22,000 people, mostly women, children and teenagers, since the war began on October 7, according to the latest tally released by Hamas.

They were launched in retaliation for an attack of an unprecedented scale by Islamist militants that killed about 1,400 people in Israel, most of them civilians, according to the latest official Israeli figures.