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Israel’s far-right Minister retracts comments for Palestinian town to be wiped out



Following international condemnation, Israel’s far-right Finance Minister, Bezalel Smotrich, has backed down on his support for a Palestinian town to be “wiped out” after two Israeli settlers were killed there.

The two young settlers were shot dead on February 26 inside their car in Huwara, a northern town in the West Bank, sparking attacks by Israeli settlers on the Palestinian town, which led to the Israeli government vowing to wipe out the Huwara city.

“I think the village of Huwara needs to be wiped out,” Bezalel Smotrich, head of the far-right Religious Zionism party and a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition, had said on Wednesday.

Read also:Israeli airstrikes kill four Syrian soldiers

Smotrich’s comments had drawn international condemnation, with the UN Human Rights Chief, Volker Turk, describing the comments as “an unfathomable statement of incitement to violence and hostility”.

The United States, a staunch ally of Israel, also kicked against Smotrich’s comments, with US State Department spokesman, Ned Price, saying they were “irresponsible and repugnant.”

However, Smotrich, on Saturday, said he had chosen his words poorly and now regrets making the comments.

“It is possible that the word was wrong. I did not mean harm to innocents when I said that Huwara should be wiped out,” Smotrich told a local television on Saturday.

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