UAE condemns remarks by Israeli ministers calling for Palestinians to leave Gaza

Comments criticised for ‘threatening further escalation’

Residents of Al Nusairat and Al Bureije refugee camps evacuate during Israeli military operations in the camps in the southern Gaza Strip. EPA
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The UAE has condemned in the strongest terms statements by two Israeli ministers who called for the displacement of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir on Monday called for the rebuilding of settlements in Gaza and the “voluntary emigration” of Palestinians.

In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed the UAE’s categorical rejection of such calls as well as all practices and procedures that encourage further escalation and instability in the region.

The ministry also called for an urgent ceasefire and to enable the immediate delivery of humanitarian aid, particularly for the most vulnerable groups.

The US State Department also criticised the statements, calling the rhetoric “inflammatory and irresponsible” on Tuesday.

Mr Ben-Gvir and Mr Smotrich presented the migration of Palestinian civilians as a solution to the decades-long conflict and as a prerequisite for creating the stability necessary to allow residents of southern Israel to return to their homes.

The comments from the ministers came as the Israeli bombardment of Gaza continues and amid a rise in violence in the West Bank, which has included raids by the military, as well as attacks by extremist settlers.

Updated: January 05, 2024, 5:31 AM