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Palestinian PM: Israeli minister’s ‘inflammatory’ remarks sign of ‘racist Zionist ideology’

Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh (C) chairs a Palestinian Authority cabinet meeting in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah. (Photo by WAFA news agency)

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has strongly condemned the latest remarks by a far-right Israeli minister who said Palestinians do not exist as a nation, describing them as evidence to the regime’s ‘racist ideology’.

Speaking before a cabinet meeting on Monday, Shtayyeh said Bezalel Smotrich’s “inflammatory statements are consistent with the first Zionist sayings of a land without a people for a people without a land.”

He said the comments were “conclusive evidence of the extremist, racist Zionist ideology... of the current Israeli government.”

Smotrich made racist remarks while speaking at an event in the French capital, Paris, on Sunday. “There are no Palestinians, because there are no Palestinian people.”

“There are Arabs around who don't like it, so what do they do? They invent a fictitious people and claim fictitious rights to the land of Israel, only to fight the Zionist movement.”

“It is the historical truth, it is the biblical truth... the Arabs in Israel must hear it, as well as certain Jews who are confused in Israel, this truth must be heard here at the Elysee Palace (in Paris), and at the White House in Washington, and everyone must hear this truth,” Smotrich said.

Smotrich was sworn in last year as a member of the regime’s new far-right cabinet led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

He and his Zionist group have a history of making incendiary remarks about the Palestinians.

In February, Smotrich called for the Palestinian town of Huwara in the occupied West Bank to be “wiped out.”

Hundreds of armed Israeli settlers then attacked Huwara and the nearby villages and torched dozens of houses and cars. They were angered by the killing of two Israeli brothers by a Palestinian gunman in Huwara.

The last time Netanyahu was prime minister, over 3,500 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces, including nearly 800 children and over 300 women. His role led to the destruction of more than 8,000 Palestinian homes, leaving over 12,000 homeless.

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