update deskIsrael at War

Netanyahu suspends minister over ‘nuke Gaza’ remark

Opposition leader Yair Lapid calls for the immediate firing of Israeli Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu over his "horrifying and insane" comment.

Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu arrives for a Cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, Jan. 29, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu arrives for a Cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, Jan. 29, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday suspended Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu for suggesting that dropping a nuclear bomb on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip was within the realm of possibility.

Netanyahu has barred Eliyahu from attending Cabinet meetings indefinitely.

“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,” said Netanyahu in a statement.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid similarly took Eliyahu to task, describing the claim as “a horrifying and insane remark by an irresponsible minister.”

With his remark, “[Eliyahu] offended the families of the [241 Gaza] captives, offended Israeli society and harmed our international standing,” said Lapid, adding: “Netanyahu must fire him this morning.”

Eliyahu subsequently walked back his statement, arguing that “it is clear to all sensible people that the statement about the atom [bomb] is metaphorical.”

However, he continued, “A strong and disproportionate response to terrorism is definitely required, which will clarify to the Nazis and their supporters that terrorism is not worthwhile. This is the only formula that democratic states can use to deal with terrorism.

“At the same time, it is clear that the State of Israel is committed to doing everything possible to return the hostages safe and sound,” he said.

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war.

JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you.

The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support?

Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Topics
Comments
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates