BEIRUT

Middle East

Israel security does not justify ‘slaughter’: France

An Israeli tank drives near the border as it returns to Israel from Gaza (seen in background) August 3, 2014. (REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

PARIS: Israel's right to security does not justify its actions in Gaza, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Monday, as he called for a political solution to be "imposed" by the international community.

"How many more deaths will it take to stop what must be called the carnage in Gaza?" Fabius said in a statement. "The tradition of friendship between Israel and France is an old one and Israel's right to security is total, but this right does not justify the killing of children and the slaughter of civilians."

The statement comes amid global outrage over an Israeli strike next to a U.N. school where ten people were killed, among them civilians who had been seeking refuge from the violence.

Fabius said Islamist group Hamas, the de facto rulers of Gaza, "clearly carries an overwhelming responsibility" for the conflict but that Israel was not justified in carrying out what U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called "a criminal act" with the attack near the school.

"That is why we support and demand the establishment of a real cease-fire as proposed by Egypt and why we are ready, as French and Europeans, to contribute to it in a concrete way," he said.

"It is also why a political solution is essential... and should in my opinion be imposed by the international community," Fabius said.

 

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