Egypt slams Israeli minister’s call for Palestinian village to be “erased”

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The Egyptian Foreign Ministry on Friday condemned an Israeli minister’s call for wiping out the Palestinian village of Hawara in the northern West Bank.

Israeli Minister of Finance Bezalel Smotrich, also the leader of the Religious Zionist Party, said on Wednesday that the village of Hawara, south of the West Bank city of Nablus, “needs to be erased.”

He made the remarks after two Israeli brothers were shot dead by Palestinians in Hawara on Sunday, prompting attacks from Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the village that caused at least one death and numerous injuries.

“Such remarks constitute an unacceptable and serious incitement for violence,” the Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement, lambasting Smotrich for “irresponsible comments that contradict laws, norms, and moral values.”

The ministry statement called for an immediate end to provocative actions against the Palestinian people and the resumption of the peace process on the basis of the two-state solution.

Smotrich’s comments were harshly condemned by the U.S. State Department Spokesperson Ned Price on Wednesday, who described his remarks as “repugnant” and “irresponsible,” according to a CNN report.

UN human rights chief on Friday denounced the “unfathomable” call by an Israeli minister for a flashpoint Palestinian town to be “wiped out”, urging an end to the violence. 

Saudi Arabia, France and UAE also condemned Smotrich racist comments, adding to the fierce international blowback sparked by the far-right lawmaker’s statements and violence in the West Bank.

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