Russia has warned that nuclear threats made by Israeli officials in connection with the war in Gaza could increase geopolitical tensions and called them “provocative and unacceptable.”
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has commented several times this week on Israel’s nuclear arsenal, with her most recent statement on Thursday (9/11/2023) claiming that provocative statements regarding nuclear use were proof that Israel has a stockpile. the weapon.
Israel’s right-wing Minister of Cultural Heritage Amichai Eliyahu was suspended on Sunday by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following comments made on a radio show. He argued that atomic weapons could be “one option” to target Hamas militants in the ongoing war in the Middle East.
Revital “Tally” Gotliv, a member of Israel’s Knesset parliament from the Likud political party, has also called for Israel to use “doomsday” weapons to target those responsible for the killing of thousands of people and the taking of hostages on October 7, and specifically referred to the missile program “Jericho” ballistics developed in the 1960s.
“Against the backdrop of Israel’s historically erratic policy regarding the possession of its nuclear weapons, these statements not only clearly confirm the presence of such weapons in the country, but also demonstrate a readiness to seriously consider the possibility of using them in completely inappropriate scenarios, “ said Zakharova as reported by Tass and quoted by Newsweek.
“This is a serious reason to think about where extremist-minded representatives of Israel will end up because they realize that they can do anything in conditions of almost unlimited protection from the West.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry posted on X, formerly Twitter, that the US was “blocking the peace initiative for a ceasefire in Gaza”.
Arkady Moshes, director of the Eastern European Union and Russia research program at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, told Newsweek that the statement may simply be part of Russia’s playbook to absolve itself of blame based on the country’s ongoing nuclear threats since invading Ukraine in February 2022.
“Moscow may see an opportunity to blame Israel and the West, and some countries may find this criticism appropriate and even convincing,” Moshes said. “This need not be linked to Russia’s own actions in the nuclear field.”
The United States was singled out by Zakharova regarding her comments, which essentially saw the country as complicit in “conniving” and supporting Israel as an ally.
Similar views are shared across the US, including by a number of members of Congress – including the only politician of Palestinian descent, Democrat Rashida Tlaib – who have repeatedly called on the Biden administration for a ceasefire.