A diplomat from Russia voiced alarm about the escalating nature of the nuclear threats made by Israeli leaders on the war in Gaza, calling them provocative and unacceptable.
Maria Zakharova, a spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, has made repeated statements this week criticizing Israel’s nuclear capabilities. Her most recent words made public on Thursday, insinuated that Israel possesses nuclear weapons and is being used to provoke the international community.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed far-right Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu on Sunday over remarks he made in a radio interview. He mused that nuclear weapons may be used against Hamas in the continuing Middle Eastern conflict.
Israeli Knesset member and Likud party member Revital Tally Gotliv has also called for Israel to use a nuclear weapon against those responsible for the October 7 massacre and hostage crisis. She spoke of the 1960s Jericho ballistic missile project.
On Thursday, Zakharova confirmed the existence of nuclear weapons in Israel and signaled a willingness to contemplate deploying them.
She warned that the possibility of extreme Israeli officials learning they had unrestrained backing from the West is a significant cause to think about the consequences. As reported by the Russian Foreign Ministry on X, the United States is obstructing efforts to broker a truce in the Gaza conflict.
According to Arkady Moshes, program director for the EU Eastern Neighborhood and Russia research program at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, Zakharova’s comments might be interpreted as a classic Russian effort to transfer blame away from themselves. This technique is predicated on Russia’s history of issuing nuclear threats, which began when Moscow invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
According to Moshes, Moscow may sense a chance to apportion responsibility to Israel and the West, and certain nations may think this criticism appropriate and compelling. Russia’s nuclear activities are irrelevant to this point.
Zakharova brought up the United States concerning her remarks, implying that the country shares responsibility for backing Israel as an ally.