Israeli minister says his comments to ‘wipe out’ Palestinian town was ‘slip of the tongue’
By Gulsen Topcu
ISTANBUL (AA): Israel’s far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said Saturday that his comments earlier this week to “wipe out” the Palestinian town of Huwara was a “slip of the tongue,” according to media reports.
The Times of Israel newspaper reported that Smotrich told local media that his “word choice was wrong, but the intention was very clear.”
“It was a slip of the tongue in a storm of emotions,” he said.
Earlier this week, the US slammed Smotrich’s remarks, saying it was “irresponsible”, “repugnant” and “disgusting.”
“Just as we condemn Palestinian incitement to violence, we condemn these provocative remarks that also amount to incitement to violence,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.
He urged Prime Minister Netanyahu and other senior Israeli officials to “publicly and clearly reject and disavow these comments.”
When questioned at a business conference why he liked a tweet earlier in the week that called for Huwara to be destroyed Smotrich said: “I think that Hawara needs to be erased.”
Asked on stage at a business conference why he liked a tweet earlier in the week that called for the Palestinian village to be destroyed, Bezalel Smotrich responded: “Because I think the village of Huwara needs to be wiped out.
“I think the State of Israel should do it, not, God forbid, private individuals.”
Bezalel Smotrich, during his first trip to Washington since taking up his ministerial position, will not meet US Treasury Secretary Jen Yellen or any other government officials, the White House told a press briefing on Friday.
In February 2023, Smotrich was entrusted with a large part of the administration of the occupied West Bank.
Additional report by Agencies
[Photo: Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich by Atbannett at Hebrew Wikipedia./Wikimedia commons]
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