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Human Rights

‘Gaza Should be Turned into Auschwitz’: Israeli Council Leader

Photo: MSF

David Azoulay, the head of a local council in Israel has suggested that Gaza should resemble the Auschwitz concentration camp, advocating for the strip to be emptied and levelled flat.

On Sunday Azoulay said that Gaza should eventually “resemble the Auschwitz concentration camp”.

“The entire Gaza Strip should be emptied and levelled flat, just like in Auschwitz. Let it become a museum, showcasing the capabilities of the State of Israel and dissuading anyone from living in the Gaza Strip,” Azoulay said.

“We should leave Gaza desolate and destroyed to serve as a museum, demonstrating the madness of the people who lived there,” the council leader added.

These inflammatory remarks did not go unnoticed, with the Polish Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum issuing a strong condemnation. The museum, representing the symbol of one of the darkest chapters in human history, criticized Azoulay’s statements as a sick, hateful, and pseudo-artistic expression.

Former Israeli Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked had previously proposed turning the city of Khan Younis in Gaza into a soccer field, effectively displacing its two million inhabitants. Israel’s Heritage Minister Amihai Eliyahu even went so far as to suggest dropping a nuclear bomb on Gaza, raising concerns about the extremity of rhetoric in the region.

The Auschwitz Museum said that Azoulay “appears to wish to use the symbol of the largest cemetery in the world as some sort of a sick, hateful, pseudo-artistic, symbolic expression”.

Amidst the controversy, the Gaza Strip has faced indiscriminate attacks from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), destroying hospitals, schools, and residential areas.

According to the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor up until 17th December, 2023, the reported death toll of 25,612 people including 5390 women and 10091 children, paints a grim picture of the toll this war has taken on innocent civilians. Over 80 percent of the population has been forced to flee their homes, further exacerbating the humanitarian crisis in the region.

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