Netanyahu suspends far-right minister for suggesting Israel should nuke Gaza

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Netanyahu suspends far-right minister for suggesting Israel should nuke Gaza

"The presence of the extremists in the government endangers us and the success of the war goals — defeating Hamas and returning the hostages," Yair Lapid said.

Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu
Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suspended a far-right minister from his coalition after he suggested that Israel could drop a nuclear bomb on Gaza.  

Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu was asked by Radio Kol Berama whether dropping a nuclear bomb on Gaza could be an option for Israel to deal with Hamas.

“That’s one way. The second way is to work out what’s important to them, what scares them, what deters them… They’re not scared of death,” he replied, adding that he “prays and hopes” for the return of the 241 hostages in Gaza, “but there is a price to be paid in war,” he said.

“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?” Eliyahu said.

The minister also suggested that the Palestinians “can go to Ireland or deserts; the monsters in Gaza should find a solution by themselves.”

The comment caused a huge uproar in Israel and abroad, with several countries condemning Eliyahu, including the United States.

Opposition Leader Yair Lapid demanded that Netanyahu fire the minister immediately, saying: “He offended the families of the captives [being held in Gaza], offended Israeli society and harmed our international standing. The presence of the extremists in the government endangers us and the success of the war goals — defeating Hamas and returning the hostages.”

According to a Channel 12 report, Netanyahu wanted to fire Eliyahu but backtracked after National Security Minister and Jewish Power party leader Itamar Ben-Gvir opposed the move.

The prime minister did, however, lash out at the Jewish Power party minister, saying: “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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