Israel Palestine Conflict

US says it condemns Israeli cabinet member’s nuclear strike remark on Gaza

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The United States on Monday called a suggestion by an Israeli junior minister of dropping an atomic bomb on Gaza “unacceptable” and urged all sides to avoid “hateful rhetoric.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office on Sunday suspended Heritage Minister Amichay Eliyahu from government meetings until further notice, saying that Israel wanted to spare non-combatants in its bombardment of Gaza in response to Hamas attacks.

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“Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Israeli government have repudiated those comments which we also found as wholly unacceptable,” State Department spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters.

“We continue to believe that it is important for all sides of this conflict to refrain from hateful rhetoric that is going to further incite tensions,” he said.

Eliyahu in an interview with Israel’s Kol Barama radio had said he was not entirely satisfied with the scale of Israel’s retaliation.

When the interviewer asked whether he advocated dropping “some kind of atomic bomb” on Gaza “to kill everyone,” Eliyahu replied: “That’s one option.”

Eliyahu later said his statement was “metaphorical.” Israel is widely known to have nuclear weapons but has never admitted so.

Militants from Palestinian group Hamas stormed into Israel on October 7, killing some 1,400 people, mostly civilians, including through targeting homes and revelers at a music festival.

The Palestinian health ministry says that more than 10,000 people have died since Israel launched retaliatory strikes, with more than 4,000 of them children.

With AFP.

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