Netanyahu thanks Smotrich for “clarifying” his comments as “inappropriate”
In a Twitter message on Sunday, PM Binyamin Netanyahu thanked Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich for “clarifying” his controversial remark which called for Hawara to be wiped out after a rampage by Jewish vigilantes on the village. “It is important for all of us to work to tone down the rhetoric, lower the temperature,” Netanyahu said.. “That includes speaking out forcefully against inappropriate statements and even correcting our own statements when we misspeak or when our words are taken out of context.” Smotrich made clear that he is strongly opposed to intentionally harming innocent civilians and or collective punishment. “It was a slip of the tongue in a storm of emotions,” the minister said earlier in the face of a storm of criticism.
Netanyahu at the same took to task the Palestinian Authority for failing to condemn the murder of the Yaniv brothers, the terrorist attack that sparked the vigilante violence. The prime minister’s comments followed reports that Smotrich may be denied entry to the US ahead of his visit this week.