US slams ‘irresponsible’ calls by Smotrich and Ben Gvir for emigration of Gazans

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

File - Far-right leaders Itamar Ben Gvir (2-R) and Bezalel Smotrich at the Knesset on December 29, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
File - Far-right leaders Itamar Ben Gvir (2-R) and Bezalel Smotrich at the Knesset on December 29, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The US State Department issues a statement calling out far-right Israeli ministers Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben Gvir for recently advocating the resettlement of Palestinians outside of Gaza.

“This rhetoric is inflammatory and irresponsible,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller says in a relatively rare unprompted statement calling out a pair of Israeli ministers by name.

“We have been told repeatedly and consistently by the government of Israel, including by the prime minister, that such statements do not reflect the policy of the Israeli government. They should stop immediately,” Miller adds.

“We have been clear, consistent and unequivocal that Gaza is Palestinian land and will remain Palestinian land, with Hamas no longer in control of its future and with no terror groups able to threaten Israel,” the State Department spokesman says.

“That is the future we seek in the interests of Israelis and Palestinians, the surrounding region and the world,” he adds.

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