US, Ben Gvir Trade Barbs Over Plan to Ethnically Cleanse Gaza

The State Department condemned comments about the displacement of Palestinians from Gaza

The State Department on Tuesday criticized comments from two Israeli ministers about their desire to expel Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, an idea that’s favored by many officials within the Israeli government.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir both said on Monday that they wanted to “encourage the migration” of Palestinians from Gaza and establish Jewish settlements in the enclave.

“The United States rejects recent statements from Israeli Ministers Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben Gvir advocating for the resettlement of Palestinians outside of Gaza. This rhetoric is inflammatory and irresponsible,” State Department spokesman Matt Miller said.

Miller added that the US has 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.” However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a Likud party meeting last week that he was looking for countries to “absorb” Palestinians.

Ben Gvir fired back at the State Department and said Israel would follow through on its plan to ethnically cleanse Gaza of its Palestinian Arab residents. “We highly value America’s friendship, but respectfully, we aren’t another star on the American flag,” he said. “We’ll do what’s best for Israel: facilitating the relocation of hundreds of thousands from Gaza will allow those in the Israeli-Gaza border communities to return home and live securely while safeguarding the IDF soldiers.”

While expressing concern about Ben Gvir and Smotrich’s rhetoric, the US continues to provide unconditional military aid to support Israel’s slaughter in Gaza and is not considering changing the policy.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.