Published: 2023-03-04 11:21
Last Updated: 2023-06-07 10:29
More than 5,000 Americans signed a petition calling for the Israeli Occupation's Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich be banned from entering the UN and his entry visa be revoked.
In a letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the petition, organized by Adalah Justice Project, said the United States must ban Smotrich from entering the US for his scheduled trip in March “because of his statements that call for violence and atrocities against the Palestinian people.”
On February 26, Israeli Occupation settlers stormed and attacked the Palestinian villages of Hawara, Burin, Zaatara, and Asira al-Qabaliyya. The armed settlers burned and damaged houses, vehicles and shops, injured hundreds of civilians and shot and killed Sameh Aqtash in his home in Zaatara.
Smotrich told the Israeli Occuation media after the attacks that the town of Hawara “should be wiped out.”
“This is a clear call for genocide,” said the petition to Secretary Blinken.
“We call on you to do more than condemn Smotrich’s statements, but to also take away his platform in the United States to continue to spread hatred and fundraise for his anti-Palestinian agenda.”
Last week, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price described Smotrich's remarks as "irresponsible, repugnant and disgusting," and said the United States expects Netanyahu to publicly reject Smotrich's "incitement to violence."
Reports from Washington said that Smotrich’s trip to the US is still on but will not include meetings with US officials, including his counterpart the Treasury Secretary, as confirmed by the US National Security Council spokesperson.
- Smotrich’s remarks ‘irresponsible’ and ‘unacceptable,’ says UN -
Earlier the UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric called Smotrich’s comments about Huwara “irresponsible” and “unacceptable.”
“From our point of view, the statement that was made by Minister Smotrich is provocative, it’s inflammatory and statements like these are just unacceptable,” Dujarric says.
“Coming from a government official, it’s irresponsible,” he added.
He continued saying that the UN chief Antonio Guterres has reiterated his call for all sides to “refrain from incitement, inflammatory rhetoric and all acts of provocation.”