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Israel minister calls Palestinian citizens 'ingrates'

Israeli minister Bezalel Smotrich
Israeli minister Bezalel Smotrich [Twitter]

An Israeli minister slammed elected representatives of the country's Palestinian citizens as "ingrates", in a social media post yesterday evening.

According to right-wing news outlet Arutz Sheva, Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich was responding to an earlier tweet by Joint List chair Ayman Odeh.

Odeh, whose alliance looks to have secured a historic 15 seats in the Knesset, was himself responding to comments by Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) chair Benny Gantz, who had said that only a "Jewish majority" would be able to beat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Gantz, the leader of Israel's largest opposition faction, has consistently ruled out sitting in a coalition government with the Joint List, which largely represents Palestinian citizens.

Israel: Joint List receive 87.2% of votes in Arab cities

After Israel's third election in a year produced a boost for Likud, but no clear majority for either the right-wing bloc or opposition bloc, Odeh tweeted: "Nobody has a Jewish majority".

Following Odeh's tweet, Smotrich – a notorious hard-right nationalist and supporter of the West Bank settlement enterprise – wrote: "Ayman, you know very well that you and your ingrate friends live here in a prosperous democracy with civil rights and a good life just because there is a Jewish majority here."

Smotrich added that "otherwise your life would look like the lives of most of your brethren in the surrounding Arab countries."

"Maybe if you try a little you will start to appreciate the Jewish majority here," he added.

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