Far-right Israeli ministers' remarks on future of Gaza draw rebuke from State Department

Two Israeli far-right ministers drew rebuke from the U.S. State Department over their remarks regarding the future of Gaza after the war against Hamas comes to an end, in which the officials discussed the voluntary resettling of Palestinians outside the Gaza Strip.

“The United States rejects recent statements from Israeli Ministers Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben Gvir advocating for the resettlement of Palestinians outside of Gaza. This rhetoric is inflammatory and irresponsible,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said on Tuesday. “We have been told repeatedly and consistently by the Government of Israel, including by the Prime Minister, that such statements do not reflect the policy of the Israeli government. They should stop immediately.”

Smotrich, the current Israeli finance minister, and Ben Gvir, the national security minister, have recently called for Israel to maintain control of the Gaza Strip after the war and for the voluntary – not forcible – resettlement of a large portion of the Palestinian population currently living there.

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