Gulf states announce their “condemnation” of an Israeli minister’s statement about “erasing” a Palestinian town

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait condemned, on Friday, the statements of the far-right Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, during which he called for the “erasing” of a Palestinian town.

Smotrich, the Israeli finance minister and leader of the far-right “religious Zionism” party, said on Wednesday that the Palestinian town of Hawara in the occupied West Bank – where two Israeli brothers were shot dead on Sunday – “must be erased.”

“I think the village of Hawara should be wiped out,” he told a reporter at a conference run by the economic newspaper The Marker. “I think the state of Israel should do it, not – God forbid – ordinary citizens.”

In a statement, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed “the Kingdom’s strong condemnation of the extremist statements, and affirmed the Kingdom’s total rejection of these irresponsible statements,” according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The ministry stressed its “call on the international community to assume its responsibilities to deter these heinous practices, stop the escalation, and provide the necessary protection for civilians,” according to the statement.

The Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs also condemned, in a statement, in the “strongest terms” the call of the Israeli Minister of Finance, and considered it a “serious incitement to a war crime,” according to the Qatar News Agency.

“This hateful and provocative call is an extension of the escalatory policy adopted by the Israeli government,” the Foreign Ministry said.

In Kuwait, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed, in a statement, the State of Kuwait’s “strong condemnation and denunciation of the extremist racist statements.”

The ministry affirmed, “Kuwait’s total rejection of such irresponsible, provocative statements, which are inconsistent with all international laws and norms and represent a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law,” according to the Kuwait News Agency.

Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan condemned, earlier, the Israeli minister’s statements, which sparked a strong rebuke from the US State Department.

State Department spokesman Ned Price told a news briefing that the remarks were “irresponsible, abhorrent, and disgusting,” and added, “Just as we condemn Palestinian incitement to violence, we condemn these provocative statements that also amount to incitement to violence.”

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