Israeli Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu said that dropping a nuclear bomb on the Gaza Strip is one of Israel’s options to resolve the current war.
This comes in response to a question about whether Israel is considering the use of nuclear weapons or not.
“The Gaza Strip must not remain on the face of the earth, and we must re-establish settlements there,” he said.
Upon being reminded of the more than 240 Israeli hostages held captive in Gaza, he replied that while he would pray for their return, “There is a price to war.”
Following his shocking comments, the Jerusalem Post reported that “Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu from Otzma Yehudit was suspended on Sunday from government meetings after he said dropping an atom bomb on Gaza is an option in an interview with Kol Baram on Sunday morning.”
“Minister Amichai Eliyahu’s comments are disconnected from reality,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Israel and the IDF function according to the highest standards of international law in order to prevent harming innocents, and we will continue to do so until victory.”
Eliyahu is suspended from all government meetings until further notice – however Netanyahu refuses to reply to a request for comment on whether the minister would be dismissed from office.
He has joined a list of Israeli officials who spoke clearly about the possibility of using nuclear weapons in the war on Gaza, as former Knesset member Moshe Feiglin previously called for striking Gaza with nuclear weapons while Knesset member Tali Gottlief also called on the Israeli occupation army to use nuclear weapons.
Gottliff specifically called for the use of the “Jericho missile,” a missile carrying a nuclear warhead with a range of up to 6,500 kilometers.
Egypt condemns statement
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that “An Israeli minister demanding to drop a nuclear bomb on the Gaza Strip is evidence of the extent of the deviation and extremism that has befallen a number of decision-makers in the Israeli government.”
The Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Ahmed Abu-Zeid stressed, on his account on “X” platform on Sunday, that “The international community must decisively confront the rhetoric of violence, hatred, and racism,” adding that “The world is talking about nuclear disarmament and its dangers, yet some are thirsty for more destruction and killing.”
The former Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Amr Moussa, echoed the sentiment on the Israeli threat. He said that an Israeli government minister’s suggestion to use nuclear weapons against Gaza and Hamas can be considered the first proper admission by a senior Israeli official that Israel possesses nuclear weapons.
In a Facebook post on Sunday, Moussa added that the Israeli minister’s statement not only raises the possibility of threatening nuclear weapons, but suggests that the existing extremist government can use them.
He called on the Arab League to record the statement and report it officially to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and to the President of the Security Council, in order to take the necessary measures on this dangerous development to the agencies concerned with nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.
Moreover, Egyptian Member of Parliament and journalist Mostafa Bakri categorically condemned Eliyahu’s statement.
Bakri wrote on the “X” platform (formerly Twitter): “When the Israeli Minister of Heritage declares that the solution with Gaza is to strike it with a nuclear bomb, and that the Gaza Strip should not remain on the face of the earth, and that Israeli settlements should be established in its place, and the world is silent, shut up. Tomorrow, they will threaten our Arab countries, country after country, and isolate us, one after another. Where is our nation, where is international law, where is the Security Council?”
“Listen…You and your government are incapable of confrontation. All the Arab people will wear the guise of resistance, and you will be the reason for the end of Israel, after you overthrew all peace options with your own hands. Beware of the awakening of the Arab genie,” he warned.
Israel’s nuclear capabilities
The Israeli minister’s statements have raised questions about Israel’s nuclear capabilities and the size of its arsenal.
Recent estimates announced by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) this year indicate that Israel possesses 90 nuclear bombs in its nuclear arsenal – making it one of the most dangerous nuclear weapons arsenals in the world.
Although Israel has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, other reports indicate that the size of its nuclear arsenal is likely larger than announced.
According to FAS estimates, Israel ranks eighth globally in terms of possessing nuclear power after Russia, the US, China, France, the UK, Pakistan, and India.
Among these countries, Russia, the US, Britain, France, and China openly declare that they possess nuclear weapons.
On the other hand, Israel, Pakistan, India, and North Korea are reported to deliberately hide the matter intentionally and do not acknowledge it officially.
The number of those killed Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip reached more than 9,500 people and more than 26,000 wounded, most of whom were children and women.
“I am horrified by the reported attack in Gaza on a convoy of ambulances outside Shifa Hospital,” the statement reads.
The UN secretary general implored Hamas to liberate Israeli prisoners without conditions, and called for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.
Guterres continued: “Now, for nearly a month, civilians in Gaza, including children and women, have been subjected to siege, deprived of aid, killed and their homes bombed… This must stop,” and he also described the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip as “horrific.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Sunday that it has documented more than 100 attacks on health care facilities in the Gaza Strip since the start of Israel’s assault.
The WHO added in a Sunday statement that Israel’s targeting of health facilities in Gaza have led to the death of 504 people.
The Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas movement, announced that it launched an attack on an Israeli force inside a building in the Gaza Strip, on Saturday, killing five Israeli soldiers.
It indicated in a brief statement that an attack was made on a force holed up in a building northwest of Gaza City, where a clash occurred with it.
The Qassam Brigades also announced the bombing of Kibbutz Nirim with a missile barrage, in response to the Israeli massacres against the Palestinian people in Gaza.
The Gaza Strip has been subjected to Israeli land, sea and air bombardment since Hamas and other Palestinian factions launched operation “Al-Aqsa Flood” on October 7.
The “Al-Aqsa Flood” was met with the Israeli “Iron Swords” operation, as the Israeli army launched raids on Gaza Strip, which is inhabited by more than two million Palestinians who suffer from deteriorating living conditions, as a result of an ongoing Israeli siege since 2006.