Israeli minister says using nuclear weapon in Gaza "an option"

Israeli minister says using nuclear weapon in Gaza "an option"
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After Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu dismissed the minister's remark as "divorced from reality," his office announced that the minister was suspended from government meetings.

An Israeli minister on Sunday said that dropping a nuclear weapon on the Palestinian enclave of Gaza is "an option."

Speaking in a radio interview, Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahuthe claimed that "there are no non-combatants in Gaza," adding that providing humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip would constitute "a failure."

Asked if he thought a nuclear attack on the Gaza Strip is an option, "That's one way," he responded.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded by saying that Eliyahu's comments are "divorced from reality" and claimed that Israeli forces are acting in accordance with international law in order to avoid harm to non-combatants.

Later on Sunday morning, Netanyahu's office announced that Eliyahu was suspended from government meetings until further notice.

Nearly 9,500 people, most of them children and women, have so far been killed in Gaza in Israel's attacks since 7 October, according to Gaza health officials.

Israel's nuclear weapons

Israel is among countries in possession of nuclear weapons although it has not officially admitted to having such weapons.

It was an Israeli nuclear technician, Mordechai Vanunu, who blew the whistle on his country's secret nuclear weapons program and revealed it to the world. He exposed the program in detail to the British press in 1986, and was subsequently lured to Italy by the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, where he was drugged and abducted. He was secretly transported to Israel and ultimately convicted in a trial that was held behind closed doors. He spent 18 years in prison, including more than 11 in severe solitary confinement, and has constantly been subjected to judicial harassment and several arrests after his release in 2004.

Israel is currently estimated to possess 90 nuclear warheads according to Geneva-based International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a recipient of Nobel Peace Prize.

Photo: Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahuthe (Source: Social media platform X)