Politics, World, Middle East

Israeli ministers reject US criticism of their calls to expel Palestinians from Gaza

US terms Israeli calls for expelling Palestinians from Gaza as ‘irresponsible’

Abdelraouf Arnaout  | 03.01.2024 - Update : 03.01.2024
Israeli ministers reject US criticism of their calls to expel Palestinians from Gaza Residents of Nuseirat refugee camp leave home due to Israeli attacks ( Ali Jadallah - Anadolu Agency )


Two Israeli ministers on Wednesday rejected US criticism of their calls for expelling Palestinians from the Gaza Strip amid a deadly military offensive on the blockaded enclave.

Far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said 70% of Israelis support a “humanitarian solution” for encouraging the emigration of Gazans.

"Two million people [Palestinians in Gaza] wake up every morning with a desire to destroy the State of Israel and slaughter, rape, and murder Jews," Smotrich said in statements cited by Israeli public broadcaster KAN.

For his part, far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said the Israeli government "will do what is best for the State of Israel," in reference to his call for emptying Gaza of its residents.

"I deeply appreciate the United States of America, but with all due respect, we are not just another star on the American flag," Ben-Gvir wrote on his X account.

Washington on Tuesday rejected what it called "irresponsible" statements by Israeli ministers about expelling Palestinians from Gaza.

"The United States rejects recent statements from Israeli ministers Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir advocating for the resettlement of Palestinians outside of Gaza," State Department Spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement.

"This rhetoric is inflammatory and irresponsible," he added.

Israel launched relentless air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip since a cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas on Oct. 7.

At least 22,313 Palestinians have since been killed and 57,296 others injured, according to Gaza’s health authorities, while nearly 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas attack.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar in Ankara

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