Joan Rivers has said she has no sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza, declaring they ‘deserve to be dead’.
The 81-year-old comedian launched a furious rant outside a Los Angeles airport, saying that the Palestinians who do not leave their homes are ‘idiots’ and that ‘at least the ones that were killed were the ones with very low IQs’.
Rivers, the daughter of Russian-Jewish immigrants, later released a statement where she claimed her words were taken out of context, but that she stood behind what she had said.
Rivers’ rant came when a photographer asked for her opinion on the conflict on the Gaza strip as she was leaving LAX airport on Wednesday.
The TV presenter first compared Gaza’s rocket attacks to going to Madonna’s house to ‘throw paint bottles’ and the civilian casualties to the victims of Hiroshima.
She then said the thought the nearly 2,000 Palestinian who have died on the Gaza strip since Israel launched military operations in the area a month ago ‘deserved it’.
‘When you declare war, you declare war,’ Rivers said.
‘They started it. We now don’t count who’s dead. You’re dead. You deserve to be dead. You started it. You started it. Don’t you dare make me feel sad about that.’
She then further attacked the Palestinian people for voting for Hamas in democratic elections.
‘You can’t get rid of Hamas, You have to say you do not recognise them, they are terrorists.
‘They were re-elected by a lot of stupid people who don’t even own a pencil.’
When questioned further about the civilian victims, she added: ‘You were told to get out, you don’t get out, then you know you’re an idiot, and at least the ones that were killed were the ones with very low IQs.’
After the video began circulating online, Rivers released a statement on her Facebook page, in which she made it clear she stood behind her words, but that they had been taken out of context.
‘I am both saddened and disappointed that my statement about the tragedy of civilian casualties was totally taken out of context,’ she said.
‘What I said and stand behind is, war is hell and unfortunately civilians are victims of political conflicts.
‘Along with every other sane person in this world, I am praying for peace. ‘
As of Thursday, 1,888 people, including 446 children, have died and 9,804 injured in Gaza in the past month, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
The United Nations has estimated that at least 70 per cent of the dead were civilians.
Israel has reported 64 military casualties, and three civilian.
This morning, Israeli military resumed strikes on targets ‘across Gaza’ in response to rocket fire from the territory that was aimed at Israel.
The new round of fighting came after a three-day truce expired on Friday morning and Israel-Hamas talks that have been underway in Cairo on a new border deal for blockaded Gaza hit a deadlock.
After the end of the temporary, 72-hour cease-fire, Gaza militants fired at least 17 rockets at Israel.
Gaza’s police say that Israel then resumed tank fire on northern Gaza and launched an airstrike that hit a farm south of Gaza City.
‘You’re dead, you deserve to be dead – you started it’: Joan Rivers in astonishing attack on ‘stupid’ Palestinians