Heritage Minister and member of the far-right Otzma Yehudit party Amichai Eliyahu on Sunday said dropping a nuclear bomb on Gaza is an option. The minister, who is famous for calling Gaza a prison and saying that the prisoners are bound to be “revoked of their civil rights so that the rest of society can live in a better way”, made this comment while speaking in a radio show.
The minister’s comments comes two days after Geneva-based Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor released a statement that Israel has already dropped more than 25,000 tons of explosives on the Gaza Strip since the start of its large-scale war on 7 October, equivalent to two nuclear bombs.
Israel newspaper Haaretz reported that the far-right minister said that “there are no non-combatants in Gaza,” adding that providing humanitarian aid to the Strip would constitute “a failure.” He was then asked if there are no non-combatants in his view – a nuclear attack on the Gaza Strip is an option, and to which he responded that: “That’s one way”.
After the controversial comments started to spread, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office suspended the minister from attending government’s meetings until further notice and said Eliyahu’s comments are “divorced from reality”. “Israel and the IDF are acting in accordance with international law in order to avoid harm to non-combatants,” the PM’s office added.