Smotrich rejects Blinken’s call to release frozen PA tax funds, urges ‘voluntary emigration’ of Gazans

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich leads a faction meeting of his far-right Religious Zionism party at the Knesset, January 8, 2024. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich leads a faction meeting of his far-right Religious Zionism party at the Knesset, January 8, 2024. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich rejects visiting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s earlier comments against any resettlement of Gazans outside the enclave, and the American diplomat’s call for Israel to release withheld tax revenues that it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.

“We really appreciate US support for Israel, but when it comes to our existence in our land, we will always act according to the Israeli interest,” Smotrich, who heads the far-right Religious Zionism party, writes on X. “Therefore we will continue to fight with all our strength to destroy Hamas. We will not transfer a shekel to the PA that will reach the families of Nazis in Gaza.”

He also urges “the opening of Gaza’s gates for the voluntary emigration of refugees, as the international community has acted regarding refugees from Syria and Ukraine.”

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