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Israeli minister's threat to drop nuke on Gaza 'raises questions': Russia

Palestinian rescuers walk above debris after Israeli bombardment in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on November 7, 2023. (AFP photo)

Russia has joined a chorus of condemnation that has sparked over controversial remarks made by an Israeli minister about the regime’s openness to a nuclear strike in the Gaza Strip.

Israel’s Heritage Minister Amihay Eliyahu told a radio program late last week that the idea of Israel carrying out a nuclear strike on the populated besieged territory could be “one option.”

“This has raised a huge number of questions,” said Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Tuesday.

The main issue, according to Zakharova, was that the occupying regime appeared to have admitted that it had nuclear weapons.

“Question number one – it turns out that we are hearing official statements about the presence of nuclear weapons?” she was quoted as saying by state RIA news agency.

If so, Zakharova asked, then where are the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and international nuclear inspectors?

The Federation of American Scientists says Israel has about 90 nuclear warheads. The regime, however, does not publicly admit that it possesses a nuclear arsenal.

Eliyahu, who was suspended from attending the cabinet meetings— not fired — appeared to backtrack, saying in a social media post, “It is clear to anyone who is sensible that the nuclear remark was metaphorical.”

His remark, however, drew condemnation from several countries, including Iran and the Arab world.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on social media on Monday that the United Nations Security Council and the IAEA “must take immediate and uninterrupted action to disarm this barbaric and apartheid regime. Tomorrow is late.”

Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and other Arab countries have all denounced Eliyahu’s remark.

The Saudi Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the controversial remarks "show to what extent extremism and brutality have penetrated the Israeli government.”

The fact that the grime’s minister was not outright fired, the ministry said, "reflects the Israeli government's disregard for all values of humanity, morality, religion and law."

Israeli warplanes have been striking the besieged Gaza Strip since the occupying regime was caught off-guard by Operation Al-Aqsa Storm by the resistance movement Hamas on October 7.


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