The immediate reaction of the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu prompted a statement by the country’s ultra-nationalist minister, who said today that using a nuclear bomb against the Gaza Strip was an “alternative option”.

The Minister of Israeli Heritage Amitsai Eligiakhou said in a radio interview that he was not entirely satisfied with the extent of Israeli retaliation in Palestinian territory following the deadly attack by Hamas in southern Israel on October 7.

To the journalist who asked him if the solution for him would be to drop “some kind of nuclear bomb all over the Gaza Strip, flatten it and kill all the people”, the minister replied: “it is an alternative option”.

The Israeli prime minister’s office reacted immediately, issuing a statement calling the statements “nothing to do with reality” and adding that the Israeli army is trying not to endanger civilians in the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu also suspended the minister’s participation in cabinet meetings “until further notice.”

After the outcry that erupted, the minister posted a message on Platform X noting that his statement “about atomic weapons has a metaphorical meaning.”