UAE foreign ministry slams Israeli minister’s ‘racist’ remarks on Palestinian village

The UAE issued a statement condemning a high-level Israeli minister’s call to destroy a Palestinian village on Thursday.

The UAE, which recently normalized relations with Israel, condemned the “racist” comments made by Minister of Finance Betzalel Smotrich, in a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Smotrich said the village of Huwara needed to be wiped out. “I think the state of Israel should do it,” he said in televised remarks.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) affirmed the UAE’s rejection of all practices and behaviors that contradict moral and human values and principles.”

The UAE called for strengthening tolerance and coexistence, and stressed the need to “confront hate speech and violence.”

It also reiterated the need for establishing an independent Palestinian state along 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital and “advance the Middle East Peace Process.”

The UAE and Israel normalized diplomatic relations alongside their Gulf neighbor Bahrain two years ago under US sponsorship.

Saudi Arabia, the US and many other countries have condemned the right-wing politician’s remarks.

Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir have been at odds with the Biden administration over their far-right policies, including a pledge to expand illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian territories.

Washington has publicly and privately urged Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, considered one of the most extreme in the country’s history, against moving ahead with this plan.

Israel has also witnessed nationwide protests against plans by Netanyahu to proceed with judicial moves that would be seen as weakening the Supreme Court and granting politicians more power over the judiciary.

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