(LibertySociety.com) – A recent remark by Israel’s Heritage Minister Amihay Eliyahu about Israel possessing nuclear weapons has prompted a global response. Eliyahu made the comment during a radio interview when asked about using nuclear weapons in Gaza, to which he said, “That’s one way.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on November 5 that he had temporarily suspended Eliyahu from attending Cabinet meetings. Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said that Eliyahu’s comment “has raised a huge number of questions.” She said that the comment was an admission by Israel that it has nuclear weapons.
Israel has never owned up to possessing such weapons, but the Federation of American Scientists has estimated that Israel has around 90 nuclear warheads in its arsenal. Zakharova pressed further, asking if nuclear inspectors and the International Atomic Energy Agency had paid a visit to the country. Mainstream media outlets in Israel condemned Eliyahu’s remark, and an official from the United States deemed the comment “objectionable.” The Iranian foreign minister posted about Eliyahu’s comment on X, formerly Twitter, calling for immediate action from the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Israel declared war immediately after the Hamas terrorist attack on October 7, vowing to continue its retaliation until Hamas is completely destroyed. Netanyahu has scolded critics from Western nations for calling for a pause or ceasefire, invoking the United States’ response following 9/11 and Pearl Harbor. Far-left progressive lawmakers have accused Israel of committing genocide against Palestinians and the United Nations has warned that if the war does not end, genocide will be the result.
The Biden administration has taken a strong stance in support of Israel but suggested a temporary humanitarian pause on November 1. Netanyahu has said that no such pause will occur until Hamas frees all hostages. The Biden administration believes that Netanyahu has taken a step toward a pause so that critical humanitarian aid can be delivered to civilians in Gaza, although most of it could be intercepted by Hamas.
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