EU and Saudi Arabia Join US in Condemning Israeli Gaza Policy

Saudi Arabia and several European nations have joined the United States in denouncing recent statements made by far-right Israeli officials regarding the resettlement of Gazans.

by Faruk Imamovic
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EU and Saudi Arabia Join US in Condemning Israeli Gaza Policy
© Getty Images/Amir Levy

Saudi Arabia and several European nations have joined the United States in denouncing recent statements made by far-right Israeli officials regarding the resettlement of Gazans. Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich have sparked controversy by suggesting that the ongoing conflict with Hamas presents an opportunity to promote Palestinian migration from Gaza.

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Ministry issued a strong statement on Thursday, unequivocally condemning the "extremist statements of two ministers in the Israeli occupation government." This sentiment was mirrored by various members of the European Union, including the Netherlands and Slovenia.

These countries, aligning with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, expressed their concern that such rhetoric is incompatible with the envisioned two-state solution, which envisages a viable Palestinian state coexisting with a secure Israel.

US Response and Israeli Officials’ Defiance

The United States, through State Department spokesperson Matt Miller, indicated that it has consistently been assured by Israel that such extreme views do not reflect the official policy of the Israeli government.

However, the Israeli ministers in question have doubled down on their stance. Ben Gvir, addressing the US rebuke, recognized the United States as a "good friend" but maintained that the migration of Gazans could enhance security for Israeli settlers.

Similarly, Smotrich rebuffed the State Department’s criticism, framing the proximity to Gaza as an existential threat due to the "hotbed of hatred and terrorism" he perceives in the enclave.

The Future of Gaza: A Regional and Global Concern

In the backdrop of these contentious statements, US officials last month discussed the governance of post-war Gaza with the Palestinian Authority and regional allies, emphasizing the need to look beyond the immediate conflict.

Miller reaffirmed the United States' position that Gaza is rightfully Palestinian territory. He stressed the vision of a future where Hamas no longer controls Gaza, and no terror groups pose a threat to Israel, aligning with the interests of Israelis, Palestinians, and the broader global community.

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