NewsControversial remarks from the Israeli minister. "The nuclear bomb is an option"

Controversial remarks from the Israeli minister. "The nuclear bomb is an option"

The military operation of Israel against Hamas continues.
The military operation of Israel against Hamas continues.
Images source: © Getty Images | 2023 Anadolu
ed. KRWL

11:07 AM EST, November 6, 2023

Amihai Eliyahu, Israel's Minister of National Heritage, suggested using a nuclear bomb in the Gaza Strip as a strategy, during a radio interview. Eliyahu's comments have sparked criticism both within and outside of Israel, leading to his suspension by the Prime Minister.

Eliyahu, known for his extreme nationalist stance, ignited controversy with his comments on Sunday. He proposed the possibility of employing nuclear weapons in the Gaza Strip in the ongoing conflict with the Palestinian movement, Hamas.

Eliyahu voiced his dissatisfaction with the current state of the Palestinian territories, which are under repressive measures by Israel. According to him, these efforts are inadequate, particularly in the aftermath of the Hamas attack on Israel, which transpired on October 7.

Controversial Statements from the Israeli Minister

During the interview, the journalist questioned Eliyahu about the potential of Israel deploying nuclear weapons in the Gaza Strip, which could lead to widespread fatalities. In response, Eliyahu added that it is one of the strategies being reviewed.

The minister's statements sparked rapid backlash from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office. Describing Eliyahu's comments as "divorced from reality", the PM's office emphasized the Israeli army's commitment to protecting Gaza Strip civilians. Furthermore, Netanyahu suspended Eliyahu's involvement in government meetings pending further decisions.

Several Israeli politicians have critiqued Netanyahu's decision, calling it a "laughing matter". Opposition leader Jair Lapid demanded Eliyahu's immediate removal from office. Quoting Lapid, The Times of Israel reported that the minister had "offended the families of abducted hostages, insulted Israeli society, and compromised our international standing. The presence of extremists in our government puts everyone at risk and undermines our war objectives."

Speaking on the matter, Defense Minister Yoav Galant stated, "It's beneficial that he (Eliyahu) isn't the individual responsible for Israel's security."

As reported by the Jerusalem Post, Beni Gantz, the leader of the Israel Unity Party, labeled the minister's comments as "reckless and irresponsible".

"Extremism and Cruelty Characterize Israeli Cabinet Members"

The minister's contentious comments also drew criticism from overseas. Saudi Arabia condemned Eliyahu's statement. In an official release, the Foreign Ministry suggested that Eliyahu's remarks signified that "extremism and cruelty" characterize Israeli cabinet members, as reported by Reuters.

According to Bloomberg, such inflammatory remarks could exacerbate the rift between Western and Arab nations. Such irresponsible comments could hinder efforts to mitigate tensions and de-escalate the conflict.

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