France calls Israeli minister's remarks denying existence of Palestinians 'irresponsible'

France calls Israeli minister's remarks denying existence of Palestinians 'irresponsible'

French Foreign Ministry urges Israeli government to refrain from using words that could escalate tensions

By Esra Taskin

PARIS (AA) - France on Tuesday rejected remarks by Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich concerning Palestinians, describing them as "irresponsible"

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry called on the Israeli government to refrain from using words that could escalate tensions in the region.

"We call on persons who have been called to high office within the Israeli government to show the required dignity," it said.

During an event in Paris on Sunday organized in memory of French-Israeli Zionist activist Jacques Kupfe, Smotrich said there were "no Palestinians because there isn't a Palestinian people."

Citing biblical "prophecies" that are "beginning to come true," he said that "after 2,000 years...God is gathering his people. The people of Israel are returning home."

"There are Arabs around who don't like it, so what do they do? They invent a fictitious people and claim fictitious rights to the Land of Israel, only to fight the Zionist movement," he added.

His remarks denying the existence of Palestinians have sparked worldwide criticism.

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