Haredi minister rejects Palestinian statehood, says Israelis can’t live ‘alongside a state of human animals’

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"

Using inflammatory language unusual for an ultra-Orthodox political leader, Housing and Construction Minister Yitzhak Goldknopf, head of the United Torah Judaism party, comes out strongly against the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, declaring that Israelis cannot live “alongside a state of human animals.”

“In recent days, voices have been rising that want to recognize a Palestinian state. The shocking video published yesterday is a reminder to the enlightened world to whom they want to give a country,” he says in a video message, referring to footage released yesterday showing the abduction of five female soldiers from the Nahal Oz base by Hamas terrorists on October 7.

“Brutal terror must be destroyed and certainly not given independent rule. We have no desire to rule over the residents of Gaza, but we cannot live next to a state of human animals.”

Goldknopf has previously come out strongly in favor of reestablishing Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip, a stance that is significantly more nationalist than previously seen by ultra-Orthodox political leaders.

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