'Get it over quick': Fury as US congressman calls for 'Hiroshima' bombing of Gaza

Tim Walberg also said Washington 'shouldn't spend a dime' on humanitarian aid for Palestinians

US Representative Tim Walberg said the US's policy towards Gaza should be 'like Nagasaki and Hiroshima'. AFP
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A US congressman has provoked fury after being filmed appearing to call for an atom bomb attack on Gaza, where almost 33,000 people have been killed since October.

Footage of Tim Walberg, a Republican politician from Michigan, saying that Washington's approach to Gaza should be "like Nagasaki and Hiroshima" has spread widely online.

"We shouldn’t be spending a dime on humanitarian aid. It should be like Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Get it over quick," he said at an constituent event in Dundee, Michigan on March 25.

The US detonated two atom bombs over the Japanese cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima in 1945, in the final months of the Second World War. The bombings are estimated to have killed at least 150,000 to 200,000 people, the vast majority of them civilians.

The congressman, previously a pastor, also claimed North Korea was "probably" in Gaza assisting Hamas and said Israel is Washington's closest ally "in the world."

Mr Walberg's incendiary comments provoked widespread anger among his colleagues and Muslim community groups.

"This clear call to genocide by a member of Congress should be condemned by all Americans who value human life and international law," the Council on American-Islamic Relations said in a statement on Saturday.

"To so casually call for what would result in the killing of every human being in Gaza sends the chilling message that Palestinian lives have no value. It is this dehumanisation of the Palestinian people that has resulted in the ongoing slaughter and suffering we see every day in Gaza and the West Bank.”

Gaza's death toll climbed to 32,782 on Sunday after 77 people were killed in the previous 24 hours. The majority of the victims are said to be women and children.

At least 30 people have also died of starvation, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

A spokesperson for Mr Walberg claimed his suggestion to drop atom bombs on Gaza was in response to a question on the possibility of US soldiers being deployed to build a port for the delivery of humanitarian aid.

"He has great empathy for the innocent people in Gaza who have been thrust into this situation due to the attack carried out by Hamas," Detroit News quoted Mike Rorke as saying.

Democratic congressman Dan Kildee said the comments were "horrific."

"It is an indefensible position to argue against humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza while calling for the wholesale massacre of the Palestinian people," he added.

Mr Walberg is not the first US politician to publicly call for more Palestinian casualties.

"We should kill them all," the Republican Congressman Andy Ogles was filmed telling pro-ceasefire protesters in February.

Right-wing Israeli ministers have also called for nuclear weapons to be used on Gaza.

The Heritage Minister Amihai Eliyahu has called for a nuclear attack twice since the war began.

"Even in The Hague they know my position," he was quoted as saying by the Times of Israel as a genocide case against Israel opened at the International Court of Justice.

Updated: March 31, 2024, 12:25 PM