Israeli minister says his comments to ‘wipe out’ Palestinian town was ‘slip of the tongue’

Middle East Monitor  /  March 5, 2023

Israel’s far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said Saturday that his comments earlier this week to “wipe out” the Palestinian town of Huwara was a “slip of the tongue,” according to media reports, says Anadolu Agency.

The Times of Israel newspaper reported that Smotrich told local media that his “word choice was wrong, but the intention was very clear.”

“It was a slip of the tongue in a storm of emotions,” he said.

Earlier this week, the US slammed Smotrich’s remarks, saying it was “irresponsible”, “repugnant” and “disgusting.”

“Just as we condemn Palestinian incitement to violence, we condemn these provocative remarks that also amount to incitement to violence,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

He urged Prime Minister Netanyahu and other senior Israeli officials to “publicly and clearly reject and disavow these comments.”​​​​​​​

Smotrich said Huwara should be “wiped out” by the Israeli government after recent violence in occupied West Bank villages following the killing of two Israeli brothers.