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Israel-Palestine war: Likud MP calls for Gaza to be 'erased from the face of the earth'

Galit Distel Atbaryan, who was recently public diplomacy minister, says on Facebook a 'vengeful and vicious' Israeli army is needed to wipe out the Palestinian enclave
Galit Distel Atbaryan has a history of controversial remarks (social media)

An MP from Israel's ruling Likud party and a recent minister on Wednesday called for all of Gaza to be erased from the earth, saying the coastal enclave should be “wiped out”.

Galit Distel Atbaryan, who until two weeks ago was public diplomacy minister, took to Facebook after being shown footage of the 7 October Palestinian attack on Israeli communities.

Distel Atbaryan posted on Facebook that the video prompted her to deliver a message to her fellow Israelis, urging them to cease internal arguments and concentrate on the “monsters” in Gaza.

“Invest that energy in one thing,” she wrote. “Erasing all of Gaza from the face of the earth.”

Distel Atbaryan said she wished to see “the brave monsters” flee over Gaza’s southern barrier into Egypt, “or let them die”.

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“Gaza needs to be wiped out,” she added, saying that “Nazis” in the occupied West Bank needed to be targeted too.

A “vengeful and vicious” Israeli military was required, she said. “Anything less than that is immoral.”

On 7 October, hundreds of Palestinian fighters attacked Israel from the Gaza Strip, killing around 1,400 Israelis, the majority civilians.

Since then, the Israeli military has waged a relentless bombing campaign on the coastal enclave, killing more than 8,700 Palestinians, including over 3,600 children. In recent days, Israeli ground troops have entered Gaza, escalating the offensive.

The 45-minute montage of bodycam footage taken from Hamas fighters’ corpses has previously been viewed by members of the international media, but has not been publicly released.

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According to reports, it includes footage of various disturbing attacks on Israeli civilians.

Distel Atbaryan, who belongs to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, resigned as minister on 12 October, saying her office had been gutted of its authority following the rearrangement of government resources following the war on Gaza.

A former novelist and right-wing media commentator, Distel Atbaryan has a history of making controversial remarks.

She has previously quarrelled with fellow ministers, reportedly telling Intelligence Minister Gila Gamliel: “Bite me, you moron, no one in Likud likes you.”

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Coming from Iranian Jewish descent, Distel Atbaryan has also drawn criticism over incendiary remarks she made about Ashkenazi approaches to the Holocaust and Nazis.

“They call me the propaganda minister - Goebbels here, Goebbels there,” she said of attacks on her.

In the nearly four weeks of war, Israeli rhetoric against Palestinians, particularly those in Gaza, has escalated dramatically.

Defence Minister Yoav Gallant has called Palestinians “human animals”.

Prominent political commentator Eliyahu Yossian recently said: “You have to enter Gaza at the height of brutality, with the aim of revenge, zero morality, maximum corpses.” 

Meanwhile, Moshe Feiglin, a former right-wing MP, told Al Jazeera the only solution is the “complete destruction of Gaza … destruction like in Dresden and Hiroshima, without a nuclear weapon”.

Two weeks ago, the office manager of Netanyahu’s wife Sara said that Palestinians involved in the 7 October attack should be tortured.

"Save their tongues for last, so we can enjoy his screams, his ears so he can hear his own screams, and his eyes so he can see us smiling," Tzipi Navon on social media.

There have been several attacks on Palestinian citizens of Israel. On Saturday, a mob of right-wing Israelis stormed a dormitory in the central city of Netanya where Palestinian students were residing, chanting “death to Arabs”.

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