Far-right minister Eliyahu: ‘Even in the Hague they know my position’

Sam Sokol is the Times of Israel's political correspondent. He was previously a reporter for the Jerusalem Post, Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Haaretz. He is the author of "Putin’s Hybrid War and the Jews"

Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu attends the funeral of Israeli soldier Moshe Yedidia Leiter, at Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem on November 12, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)
Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu attends the funeral of Israeli soldier Moshe Yedidia Leiter, at Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem on November 12, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu tells participants in a tour of the West Bank city of Hebron that they “know my position, even in the Hague they know my position,” apparently referring to his comments that the use of nuclear weapons against Hamas in Gaza would be an option.

Eliyahu is not a member of the war cabinet directing the war against the terror group, nor is he part of the broader security cabinet.

Last November, Eliyahu, a member of National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir’s far-right Otzma Yehudit party, was asked by Radio Kol Berama if the use of such weapons was an option in the enclave, and declared that “there is no such thing as uninvolved civilians in Gaza.”

At the time, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and other senior officials were quick to reject Eliyahu’s claim that dropping a nuclear bomb on the Gaza Strip was a possibility.

“Amichai Eliyahu’s words are detached from reality,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “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.”

The premier then briefly suspended Eliyahu from attending cabinet meetings.

After Hamas’s October 7 onslaught and Israel’s declaration of war on the terror group, South Africa brought a motion accusing Israel of genocide before the International Court of Justice in the Hague. It cited the statements of several ministers, including Eliyahu.

Israel’s legal team in The Hague attacked the fundamental claims of the “baseless” allegations at the ICJ.

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