Ben Gvir and Smotrich
Ben Gvir and SmotrichYonatan Sindel/Flash 90

The US State Department on Tuesday criticized Ministers Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben Gvir over their statements advocating for the resettlement of Palestinian Arabs outside of Gaza.

State Department spokesperson Mathew Miller wrote, “The United States rejects the inflammatory and irresponsible statements from Israeli Ministers Smotrich and Ben Gvir. There should be no mass displacement of Palestinians from Gaza.”

He added, “We have been told repeatedly and consistently by the Government of Israel, including by the Prime Minister, that such statements do not reflect the policy of the Israeli government. They should stop immediately."

"We have been clear, consistent, and unequivocal that Gaza is Palestinian land and will remain Palestinian land, with Hamas no longer in control of its future and with no terror groups able to threaten Israel. That is the future we seek, in the interests of Israelis and Palestinians, the surrounding region, and the world," Miller continued.

Minister Ben Gvir responded and said, "I greatly appreciate the United States of America, but with all due respect, we are not another star on the American flag. The United States is our best friend, but before everything we will do what is good for the State of Israel. The migration of hundreds of thousands from Gaza will allow the residents of the communities near the Gaza border to return home and live in security and will protect the soldiers of the IDF."

Smotrich said on Monday at the faction meeting of the Religious Zionist Party that "those who thought that the solution in Gaza would be similar to the solutions we tried in the past are wrong. You have to think outside the box, differently, and the correct solution is to encourage the voluntary migration of the residents of Gaza to countries that will agree to accept the refugees, as they accepted millions of refugees from Syria and wars in other regions, this should be the fate of the residents of Gaza.”