Israeli minister suspended after saying Palestinians could ‘go to Ireland or the desert’

Culture Minister Amichai Eliyahu of the Otzma Yehudit party suggested that dropping a nuclear bomb on Gaza was an option

Culture Minister Amichai Eliyahu of the Otzma Yehudit party is quoted by the Times of Israel as saying in an interview that the Palestinian people “can go to Ireland or go to the desert, the monsters in Gaza should find a solution themselves “, adding that those who wave a Palestinian or Hamas flag “should not continue to live on earth.”

He added that dropping a nuclear bomb on the Gaza Strip was “one of the possibilities” and opposed providing humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, saying: “We would not give humanitarian aid to the Nazis.” Something like innocent civilians does not exist in Gaza.”

Asked by Radio Kol Berama whether a nuclear bomb should be dropped on the Gaza Strip, Eliyahu said it was “one of the possibilities.”

People mourn as they collect the bodies of Palestinians killed in Israeli air strikes in Khan Yunis, Gaza, on November 5. Photo by Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said the right-wing extremist minister had been suspended from government meetings “until further notice” because of his comments.

Mr Netanyahu previously said on social media that his comments were “not unrealistic”, while Defense Minister Yoav Gallant also criticized Mr Eliyahu, saying: “It’s good that such people are not responsible for Israel’s security.”

However, AP notes that Mr. Eliyahu’s suspension has no practical impact because he was not a member of the war cabinet formed after Hamas’s attack on Israel last month.

Meanwhile, an Irish national and his family stranded in the war-torn Gaza Strip failed in rescue efforts as Irish passport holders were not on the list of nationalities to be evacuated for the third time on Thursday.

Ibrahim Alagha (38), his wife Hamida and their three small children have been stuck in Gaza since the war broke out a month ago. Up to 40 Irish citizens are stranded in the Gaza Strip, including the Alagha family.

“Today [Thursday] A third list was published and again Irish nationals were not included. So far all European countries have been included – Great Britain, Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Scandinavian countries, Greece, Italy, Croatia, Switzerland and many more. I think there should be an explanation as to why Irish nationals were left out.

“I just hope our names are on a list soon, before it’s too late. Due to Israel’s complete blockade and siege of the Gaza Strip since the start of the war, we have dangerously low water, food and energy supplies,” he told the Sunday Independent from Khan Younis in southern Gaza.

Ibrahim remains in regular contact with the Irish Embassy in Israel, which is trying to evacuate the large group of Irish citizens stranded in the Gaza Strip.

“The big problem I have at the moment is that our fuel has now run out. So when we get the order to evacuate, we don’t have fuel to go to the border and the distance is about 15 km.

“It’s a long journey with three small children. It is also a very risky and dangerous journey. But if we got a message we would have to try to get there. We would have to find a way,” he added.

“The other problem is that phone coverage on the network is getting worse; it is becoming less and less reliable. I fear that I will soon be completely cut off from the outside world – then I will have no way of contacting the Irish Embassy about plans for a safe evacuation.

“I think it is now time for the Irish Government to step in and help get all Irish passport holders out.

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