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Gantz assails Noam party for calling Egyptians killed in 1967 war ‘enemy soldiers’

Defense Minister Benny Gantz attends an Israel Democracy Institute conference in Jerusalem on November 28, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Defense Minister Benny Gantz attends an Israel Democracy Institute conference in Jerusalem on November 28, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz condemns a statement by the far-right Noam party earlier this week that called Egyptian troops who fought Israel in the 1967 Six Day War “soldiers of the enemy,” arguing that it amounts to calling today’s Egypt an enemy state.

Noam’s statement came after the Kan public broadcaster reported that Israel is weighing erecting a monument commemorating Egyptian commando forces who were killed during the 1967 war, which Egypt and other Arab armies launched against the Jewish state.

The ultra-conservative party — set to head a body in charge of Israel’s Jewish identity in the presumed upcoming government — said it’s a “delusional idea” to erect a monument “in memory of soldiers of the enemy who tried to destroy us.”

Gantz claims this is an “attempt to paint Egypt as an enemy,” highlighting the importance of the peace deal signed in 1979 and of the strategic partnership with Cairo to regional stability and to the fight against terror in Sinai and Gaza.

Gantz says Noam’s statement is “both unfounded and a grave strategic error,” urging presumed incoming prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to condemn it.

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