After the US insisted that he retract the statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted that a key Cabinet ally’s comments calling for the destruction of a Palestinian village were improper.
In the twitter thread, which was posted in English shortly after midnight, Mr. Netanyahu seemed to be implying that the ally, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, misspoke without explicitly denouncing the statements.
Mr. Smotrich afterwards apologised and made it “clear that his choice of words” was “inappropriate,” which was acknowledged by Mr. Netanyahu.
The majority of the thread encouraged the world community to demand Palestinian condemnations of attacks on Jews.
Since Mr. Smotrich’s comments were made on Wednesday, it looked to be his first outspoken reaction to them.
Last week, Zionist settlers in the occupied West Bank ransacked the Palestinian town of Hawara, where two Israeli brothers had been shot and killed earlier in the day.
Later on in the week, Mr. Smotrich declared that Israeli military, not ordinary civilians, should destroy the village.
Afterwards, Mr. Smotrich shifted his position, indicating that he had intended for Israel to carry out precise operations inside the village against Palestinian militants rather than for the village to be completely destroyed.
Nonetheless, his earlier remarks caused a global uproar.
The U.S. encouraged Mr. Netanyahu to “publicly and firmly reject and condemn them” and referred to the remarks as repugnant.
The United Nations, as well as Middle East superpowers Saudi Arabia and Egypt, condemned Mr. Smotrich’s comments.