Recently, an Israeli minister claimed that dropping an atomic bomb over Gaza is a conceivable option.
The statement was made by Amichay Eliyahu, Israel's Minister of Cultural Heritage. He was immediately suspended from government meetings by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following the comment.
"The minister's statement is detached from reality," Netanyahu said afterward, according to AFP.
Despite Israel's denial of the "attack plan," the statement has raised eyebrows elsewhere in the world, including in Russia, as reported by Reuters.
"This raises a large number of questions," says Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, to Russian media.
"A first acknowledgment"
For Putin's regime, however, the most important question is not whether Israel would consider such a devastating attack on the Gaza Strip.
Instead, it concerns the news that Israel, through Eliyahu's statement, now seems to have acknowledged that it actually possesses nuclear weapons.
Until now, this has not been the case, even though international organizations and researchers estimate that Israel has about 90 nuclear warheads at its disposal.
"Question number one - it turns out that we hear official statements about the existence of nuclear weapons?" asks Maria Zakharova. "If so, where is the International Atomic Energy Agency and international nuclear inspectors?"
Lack of knowledge
The statement about the possible atomic bomb was also condemned in the USA.
"Obviously, it's a reprehensible statement, and the prime minister made it clear that he was not speaking on behalf of the government," said a senior official in the U.S. State Department to Reuters. Amichay Eliyahu belongs to the anti-Arab and Israeli nationalist party Otzma Yehudit; Jewish Power, which is part of Netanyahu's government.
According to Israel's prime minister, Eliyahu is not part of the group of ministers leading the war against Hamas and has no information about the country's nuclear capability.