UAE condemns statements by Israeli Minister of Finance denying existence of Palestinian people


The UAE has condemned statements by Israeli Minister of Finance Bezalel Smotrich in which he denied the existence of the Palestinian people. The UAE also condemned his use of a map of Israel that includes lands from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the occupied Palestinian territories.

In a statement, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) affirmed Emirates’ rejection of inciteful rhetoric and all practices that contradict moral and human values and principles.

The Ministry stressed the need to confront hate speech and violence and noted the importance of promoting the values of tolerance and coexistence to reduce escalation and instability in the region.

The Ministry underscored the need to support all regional and international efforts to advance the Middle East Peace Process, end illegal practices that threaten the two-state solution and establish an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Bezalel Smotrich claimed there’s “no such thing” as a Palestinian people as Israel’s new coalition government, went ahead on Monday with a part of its plan to overhaul the judiciary.

The development came a day after an Israeli and Palestinian delegation at a meeting in Egypt, mediated by Egyptian, Jordanian and US officials, pledged to take steps to lower tensions roiling the region ahead of a sensitive holiday season.

As the negotiators were issuing a joint communique, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich delivered a speech in Paris saying the notion of a Palestinian people was artificial.

“There is no such thing as a Palestinian nation. There is no Palestinian history. There is no Palestinian language,” he said in France late Sunday. He spoke at a memorial event for a French-Israeli activist who denied the existence of a Palestinian nation and advocated annexation of the West Bank. The lectern was adorned with what appeared to be an image showing the map of Israel that included the occupied West Bank, Gaza and Jordan.

Jordan’s Foreign Ministry said that Smotrich’s appearance with the icon was a “reckless inflammatory act and a violation of international norms and the peace treaty” between the two countries.

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