On Sunday, an Israeli government minister was suspended after he suggested dropping a nuclear bomb on the Gaza Strip was “one of the possibilities” in Israel’s war against Hamas.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu relieved Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu of his duties and barred him from future cabinet meetings after he made the outrageous claim during an interview on Radio Kol Berama, the Times of Israel reported.
“Your expectation is that tomorrow morning we’d drop what amounts to some kind a nuclear bomb on all of Gaza, flattening them, eliminating everybody there,” the interviewer said.
“That’s one way,” Eliyahu responded. “The second way is to work out what’s important to them, what scares them, what deters them… They’re not scared of death.”
Eliyahu doubled down when it was noted that some 240 hostages are currently being held in the Gaza strip, saying, “I pray and hope for their return, but there is a price to be paid in war. Why are the lives of the abductees, whose release I really want, more important than the lives of the soldiers and the people who will be murdered later?”
He added of global calls for help for the Palestinian civilians, “We wouldn’t have given the Nazis humanitarian aid.
“There’s no such thing as innocents in Gaza.”
Netanyahu spoke on Eliyahu in a statement posted on X, writing, “Minister Amihai Eliyahu’s statements are not based in reality. Israel and the IDF are operating in accordance with the highest standards of international law to avoid harming innocents. We will continue to do so until our victory.”
Netanyahu noted that Eliyahu is not part of the emergency Israeli war cabinet that the PM created after Hamas terrorists launched a surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7.
The attack killed more than 1,400 Israeli citizens near the Gaza border, with nearly all of them being noncombatants, as well as those that have been taken hostage. Israel has since launched an expanding retaliatory strike by Israel.
After he was suspended, Eliyahu attempted to backpedal, claiming to reporters that “anyone reasonable would understand that the [nuclear weapons] comment was metaphorical,” adding, “But we definitely need to respond powerfully and disproportionately to terrorism.”
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