The HQ of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry in Cairo. Photo : Al-Ahram
In an event in Paris on Sunday, far-right Israeli Finance Minister Smotrich said, quoting late French Israeli Zionist activist Jacques Kupfer, that “there are no Palestinians because there are no Palestinian people.”
He was speaking at Kupfer's private memorial service.
“Egypt totally rejects these irresponsible and inflammatory statements that carry racist implications and deny historical and geographical truths,” the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said.
The ministry added that such statements provoke the anger not only of Palestinians but also of the people of the free world and anyone who has conscience.
“These statements undermine efforts to achieve calm between the Palestinian and Israeli, as we approach the holy month of Ramadan, which coincides this year with Christian and Jewish holidays, all of which establish the meanings of tolerance, peace and respect for others.” Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Ahmed Abu-Zeid said in his short statement.
The statements of Smotrich come at the same time as Palestinian and Israeli high-level officials reaffirmed a commitment to de-escalate and prevent further violence in a meeting in Sharm El-Sheikh attended by officials from Egypt, Jordan and the United States.