In rare move, US slams Israeli ministers by name for calling for Palestinian resettlement

Jan 2, 2024 | History, Voices

Matthew Miller, the U.S. State Department spokesman, rejected calls on Tuesday from two Israeli ministers for Palestinians to be permanently resettled outside of Gaza and for Israel to re-establish Jewish communities within the Strip.

“This rhetoric is inflammatory and irresponsible,” Miller stated. “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.”

[The Jewish News Syndicate Report continues]

“We have been clear, consistent and unequivocal that Gaza is Palestinian land and will remain Palestinian land, with Hamas no longer in control of its future and with no terror groups able to threaten Israel,” he said.

The United Nations estimates that some 1.8 million people have been internally displaced in Gaza, about 80% of the population. Egypt has generally refused to allow Gazans to cross into its territory, citing concerns that the population will not be allowed to return when the war concludes.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has previously said that “there must be no enduring internal displacement” of Palestinians from Gaza and that they should be allowed to return to their homes as soon as conditions permit.

While the United States rarely condemns Israeli political figures by name, Smotrich and Ben-Gvir have repeatedly drawn the ire of the State Department and American Jewish groups for hard-line positions on Palestinian issues.

In March, the State Department said that Smotrich’s comments were “repugnant” after he called for a Palestinian village to be “wiped out,” and many U.S. Jewish groups refused to meet with him during a visit to Washington, D.C., later that month.

View this Jewish News Syndicate Report from January 2nd