Israeli Minister Suspended After Controversial Nuclear Strike Remark

Israeli Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu has been temporarily suspended from cabinet meetings after making a controversial remark suggesting the possibility of a nuclear strike on Gaza as an option in Israel’s ongoing conflict with Hamas. The statement was made during an interview on Radio Kol Berama, as reported by the Times of Israel.

When questioned about the use of a nuclear bomb on the Palestinian territory, Eliyahu reportedly replied, “This is one of the possibilities.” The alarming comment has drawn swift condemnation, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suspending Eliyahu from cabinet meetings “until further notice.”

In response to Eliyahu’s statement, Prime Minister Netanyahu issued a statement saying, “Amichai Eliyahu’s words are detached from reality.” He emphasized that Israel and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are committed to acting in accordance with the highest standards of international law to prevent harm to uninvolved civilians throughout the conflict.

Additionally, Netanyahu pointed out that Eliyahu is not a member of the emergency Israeli war cabinet. Eliyahu is affiliated with Israel’s far-right Otzma Yehudit party.

Eliyahu’s comments extended to his objection to providing humanitarian aid to Gaza, where he claimed, “there is no such thing as uninvolved civilians.” He compared the situation to not providing humanitarian aid to Nazis, stating, “We wouldn’t hand the Nazis humanitarian aid.”

On social media, Eliyahu later described the nuclear remark as “metaphorical.” He clarified, “It’s clear to anyone who is sensible that the nuclear remark was metaphorical.” However, he maintained his stance that a “strong and disproportionate response to terrorism is definitely required.”

The incident has sparked controversy and raised concerns about the rhetoric surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, especially in the context of nuclear weapons. It remains to be seen how the situation will develop and what consequences Eliyahu’s remarks may have on the political landscape in Israel.