The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has written a letter to the US top diplomat condemning the Israeli Treasury Minister’s controversial statement in which he denied the existence of the Palestinian people.
In a letter written to US Secretary of State Anthony Blanken, the GCC has called on Washington to fulfill its responsibilities in responding to all actions and statements targeting the Palestinian people.
In the letter of the foreign ministers of the six-member GCC, the US has been urged to play its role in reaching a just, comprehensive and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Israel’s far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smutrich said earlier this month that the Palestinians do not exist as a nation, sparking outrage in Arab countries.
The US State Department has described Smutrich’s statement as not only false, but extremely alarming and dangerous.
Smutrich is part of the far-right government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who took power in December.
Gulf Cooperation Council ministers also condemned Smutrich’s statement calling for the “annihilation” of the Palestinian village of Hawara in the West Bank. They linked the statement to the February shooting by an alleged Hamas militant. It was issued after the death of two Israelis.
The GCC foreign ministers met last week in the Saudi capital Riyadh. The two countries involved, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, normalized relations with Israel under the US-brokered Abraham Accords in 2020.
Violence has escalated in recent months in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, a Palestinian territory Israel has occupied since the 1967 Six-Day War.
The State Department on Tuesday criticized the Israeli parliament’s repeal of part of a law banning Israelis from living in West Bank areas vacated in 2005, calling it “provocative” and a direct violation of commitments made to Washington. It was stated.
Anthony Blanken, in a statement before a US Senate committee, commented on Smutrich’s statement about the Palestinians, saying it did not reflect American values.