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Netanyahu suspends minister for suggesting Israel ‘nuke Gaza’

November 5, 2023 at 10:45 am

Far-right Israeli Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Minister, Amichai Eliyahu [@Eliyahu_a/Twitter]

Israel’s Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu has been suspended today by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for suggesting that the occupation state should drop a nuclear bomb over the Gaza Strip, which is already facing a genocidal onslaught.

Earlier today, the Times of Israel reported that the far-right minister from the extremist Otzma Yehudit party said in an interview with Radio Kol Berama that “this is one of the possibilities,” in reference to using a nuclear weapon.

He is also in favour of the Zionist state in re-occupying the Strip in its entirety, stating that the enclave’s Palestinian population, numbering over 2 million “can go to Ireland or deserts, the monsters in Gaza should find a solution by themselves.”

According to the report, Eliyahu who belongs to Itamar Ben Gvir’s far-right party, “is not part of the security cabinet which is involved in the wartime decision-making, nor does he hold sway over the war cabinet directing the war.”

Following the interview, Eliyahu has been barred from attending Cabinet meetings indefinitely.

In a statement issued this morning, Netanyahu said: “Amichai Eliyahu’s words are detached from reality. Israel and the IDF are acting in accordance with the highest standards of international law in order to prevent harm to uninvolved people, and we will continue to do that all the way to victory.”

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Yoav Gallant, the defence minister, said: “It’s a good thing that people like this are not in charge of Israel’s security.”

Opposition leader Yair Lapid also sought to distance himself from the remarks, describing it as “a horrifying and insane remark by an irresponsible minister.” With his comments, “[Eliyahu] offended the families of the [241 Gaza] captives, offended Israeli society and harmed our international standing,” said Lapid, adding: “Netanyahu must fire him this morning.”

Eliyahu has since tried to backtrack on his calls for committing a nuclear holocaust, saying: “It is clear to all sensible people that the statement about the atom [bomb] is metaphorical.”

“A strong and disproportionate response to terrorism is definitely required, which will clarify to the Nazis and their supporters that terrorism is not worthwhile. This is the only formula that democratic states can use to deal with terrorism,” he added.

“At the same time, it is clear that the State of Israel is committed to doing everything possible to return the hostages safe and sound.”

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