Smotrich retracts anti-Palestine statement

Published March 5th, 2023 - 07:09 GMT
Israel and Palestine

ALBAWABA - Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich began to retract his call for wiping out a Palestinian village, a statement that drew a fierce international anger and condemnation.

Smotrich said Wednesday that the Palestinian village of Hawara, which was recently attacked by Israel Defense Forces, should be "erased."

The Israeli minister did not apologize for his controversial remarks, but only said that the word may "have been chosen in a bad way."

Smotrich has twice clarified that he did not mean innocents should be harmed when he said that the Palestinian village should be “wiped out.” ?

"The village of Hawara must be wiped out," Smotrich said. "I think the State of Israel should do it and not, God forbid, ordinary individuals."

His statements were made after Davidi Ben Zion, deputy head of the Shmron Settlement Council, called in a post he wrote on his Twitter account, for erasing Hawara as well _ a tweet that impressed Smotrich.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, condemned Smotrich's statements, describing them as incitement of violence and hostility.

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price called on the Israeli prime minister to disavow Smotrich's remarks. He described the statements as "disgusting".

The French Foreign Ministry also condemned the statements as unacceptable, irresponsible and not worthy of attention.

Arab countries, including Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, rebuked the Israeli minister.

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