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May 19, 2024 3:04 pm

Israeli minister says ‘no such thing’ as Palestinian people

A recent statement by an Israeli government minister has sparked controversy and outrage among Palestinians and their supporters around the world. Tzachi Hanegbi, who serves as Israel’s Minister of Regional Cooperation, declared in a radio interview that “there is no such thing” as the Palestinian people.

The comments were immediately condemned by Palestinian officials, who called them “racist” and “dehumanizing.” Hanegbi’s remarks also drew criticism from human rights groups and activists, who accused him of denying the existence and rights of millions of people.

The controversy began when Hanegbi was asked about recent clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem. In his response, he denied that the conflict was between two peoples and instead framed it as a battle between “people living in Israel” and “terrorists.”

“The conflict is not between two peoples. The conflict is between the people living in Israel and the Palestinian leadership which refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state,” Hanegbi said. “There is no such thing as a Palestinian people. There never was.”

Hanegbi’s comments reflect a longstanding view among some Israelis that denies the Palestinian identity and claims to the land. Critics argue that such rhetoric contributes to the dehumanization and oppression of Palestinians and undermines efforts towards peace and reconciliation.

The Palestinian Authority’s foreign ministry released a statement condemning Hanegbi’s remarks, calling them “a reflection of the racist mentality of extremist Israeli politicians.” The statement added that “the Palestinian people are a people with their own national identity, history, and culture, who have lived on their land for thousands of years.”

The controversy over Hanegbi’s comments is just the latest in a long line of contentious issues between Israelis and Palestinians, with no clear end in sight. The situation remains tense, and many fear that such rhetoric will only further inflame tensions and hinder efforts towards a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

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