Kremlin propagandist Vladimir Soloviev says Israel should be sanctioned for possessing nuclear weapons, as the country steps up warnings of an imminent offensive in Gaza.
Soloviev, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and one of the best-known figures in Kremlin-backed media, made the remarks on his show on Russia-1, a an extract of which was shared on X, formerly Twitter, by the The daily beast Julia Davis.
Russia and Israel have had close relations since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Kremlin has so far said Russia is extremely concerned about the “spiral of violence” in Israel and has offered to be a potential mediator in the conflict.
Soloviev’s remarks came after Hamas carried out the deadliest Palestinian militant attack in history against Israel on October 7. The Israelis then launched their heaviest airstrikes in their history on Gaza. As of Monday, at least 1,400 people had been killed in Israel, the Associated Press reported, citing the Israeli military. At least 2,670 people have been killed in Gaza, according to local authorities, the AP said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country was at war and had cut off supplies of food, fuel, electricity and medicine to Gaza. Israel has called up 360,000 reservists as it prepares for a likely ground offensive on the territory, whose population is estimated at around 2.3 million.
Israel has not publicly conducted a nuclear test, but it is universally accepted that it possesses nuclear weapons, according to the Arms Control Association, which says Israel possesses 90 nuclear warheads.
“I look at what is happening in the world right now and I say to myself: the most important thing is to remain human? Don’t become like an animal in one way or another. This is not part of our culture. “We never said anywhere that entire nations and all their peoples were at fault,” Soloviev said.
“I look at the way they say, in all sincerity, that more than 2 million people need to get out of there,” Soloviev added. This referred to Israeli orders to evacuate the Gaza City area and move to the southern part of the besieged territory ahead of a planned ground offensive.
“Americans say, ‘It’s normal.’ When you just raze the cities and then say, “First we’re going to raze everything, then we’re going to redo everything with heavy bombs, destroy all the bomb shelters, and then we’re going to clean it all up,” they say, ” Go somewhere over there. But this is their land!” Soloviev said.
“We will never act like those who believe that an entire nation must be destroyed! Oh, you don’t think it should be allowed for Israel to treat the Palestinians this way? Impose sanctions against Israel! Israel owns- Do they have nuclear weapons? Apparently so! Are these sanctions for having nuclear weapons like North Korea? No! Why not? Soloviev added.
News week contacted the Russian Foreign Ministry by email for comment.
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