Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has suspended Heritage Minister Amihay Eliyahu from cabinet meetings after Eliyahu implied Israel might consider a nuclear strike on Gaza amidst escalating civilian casualties.
Eliyahu, a member of a far-right party, made the controversial remark during a radio interview, stating, “That’s one way.” The comment, lacking any basis in reality or authority, sparked outrage across the Arab world and was labeled “objectionable” by U.S. officials.
Netanyahu’s office emphasized that Israel and its military operate under strict international law standards to prevent civilian harm.
The Arab League condemned Eliyahu’s statement as racist, while Hamas criticized it as indicative of “unprecedented criminal Israeli terrorism.”
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, addressing the crisis during a Middle East visit, reiterated that Eliyahu did not represent the government’s stance. Eliyahu later clarified on social media that his nuclear remark was metaphorical, advocating for a strong response to terrorism. The war in Gaza, ignited by a cross-border assault on October 7, has resulted in significant civilian casualties and international concern.