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Israeli minister says ‘Palestinians don’t exist’ — RT World News

Bezalel Smotrich claimed that the people are “an invention that is less than 100 years old”

There is no Palestinian history or culture, and there is no Palestinian people, said Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich. The minister, who is in charge of the administration of the occupied West Bank, made the inflammatory remarks on Sunday during a visit to France.

Smotrich was speaking at a memorial event commemorating Jacques Kupfer, a prominent Zionist and right-wing Likud party activist who died in 2021. The minister delivered his speech in front of a lectern draped in a flag representing a variant of so-called map of “Greater Israel” which appears to include the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza and Jordan, pictures of the event, which was widely shared online, shows.

“Is there a Palestinian history or culture? There are not any. There is no Palestinian people,” he added. said the politician, receiving applause from the audience.

The Palestinian people are an invention less than 100 years old.

Smotrich, a settler himself in the occupied West Bank, also claimed to be a real Palestinian, while describing his late grandfather as a “13th Generation Jerusalemite” and one “true Palestinian”.

The controversial remarks angered Palestinian officials, who condemned them as “racist” And “extremist.” The Palestinian Foreign Ministry condemned Smotrich’s denial of the existence of Palestinians, saying such statements “to foster an environment that fuels Jewish extremism and terrorism against our people.”

This is the second major controversy that Smotrich, well known for his hardline Zionist stance and repeated anti-Palestinian rhetoric, has sparked this month. Earlier this month, the Minister called for “erasure” the Palestinian town of Huwara, which saw riots by Israeli settlers following the killing of two settlers by a Palestinian gunman. The riots claimed the life of at least one Palestinian resident of Huwara.

The remarks were widely condemned, prompting the minister to backtrack and say he “did not mean that the city of Huwara should be wiped out”, but that Israel should “to act in a targeted manner against terrorists and supporters of terrorism”.

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