ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office (FO) said on Monday that Pakistan was “appalled” at the remarks made by an Israeli minister wherein he suggested dropping a nuclear bomb on Gaza.
Israeli Heritage Minister Amichay Eliyahu, an ultranationalist politician part of Netnayahu’s ruling coalition, had told Israel’s Kol Barama radio that he was not entirely satisfied with the scale of Israel’s retaliation in the Palestinian territory.
When the interviewer had asked whether the Israeli minister advocated dropping “some kind of atomic bomb” on the Gaza Strip “to kill everyone”, Eliyahu had replied: “That’s one option”.
On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office had said that Eliyahu was suspended from government meetings “until further notice”.
His office had described Eliyahu’s remarks as “disconnected from reality” and added that Israel was trying to spare “non-combatants” in Gaza.
“Eliyahu’s statements are not based in reality. Israel and the IDF (military) are operating in accordance with the highest standards of international law to avoid harming innocents. We will continue to do so until our victory,” Netanyahu’s office had said.
Despite the immediate reprimand, the junior minister’s inflammatory comments drew wide condemnation from within Israel and across the Middle East.
Israel has never admitted to having a nuclear bomb.
In a post on social media platform X today, FO spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said, “We are appalled by statement of an Israeli minister threatening nuclear force against Palestinians”.
She said the remarks reflected an “intention for ethnic cleansing and genocide”.
“This is a wake-up call for the international community to the threat posed by Israeli aggression to regional peace, security and stability,” she said.
Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit had said Eliyahu’s remarks revealed that “Israel possesses nuclear weapons, which is an open secret”.
“But it confirms the truth of the racist view Israelis hold against Palestinians. This is the true face of the occupation government.”
Saudi Arabia had criticised the Netanyahu government for not dismissing the minister.
“Failing to immediately dismiss the minister from the government and simply freezing his membership reflects the height of disdain for all human, moral, religious and legal standards and values of the Israeli government,” the Saudi foreign ministry had said in a statement.
Jordan said the minister’s remarks were a “call for genocide and a hate crime” against the Palestinians. Following the outcry over his remarks, Eliyahu had said in a post on X that his statement about the atomic bomb was “metaphorical”.