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Lula accuses Israel of “genocide” in Gaza

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva accused Sunday Israel committed "génocide" Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, establishing a parallel with the extermination of the Jews carried out by the Hitler regime.

“What is happening in the Gaza Strip is not a war, it is a genocide,” Mr. Lula told reporters from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he is attending at an African Union summit.

“This is not a war of soldiers against soldiers. It is a war between a highly prepared army and women and children,” added the Brazilian leader, veteran of the left.

“What is happening in the Gaza Strip with the Palestinian people has not happened at any other time in history. In fact, it has happened before: when Hitler decided to kill the Jews,” he insisted.

These remarks are among the most virulent comments ever made on the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement of Hamas by Lula, a prominent voice from the South whose country currently holds the rotating presidency of the G20.

The 78-year-old leader condemned the October 7 attack by Hamas against Israel, calling it a “terrorist” act in the process.

But he has since been very critical of the military campaign of retaliation of Israel.

Hamas' unprecedented attack on Israeli soil resulted in the deaths of 1,160 people, most of them civilians, according to an AFP count based on official Israeli figures.

< p>The attackers also took around 250 people hostage, 130 of whom are still in Gaza, including 30 presumed dead, according to Israeli figures.

The bombings and the ground offensive since carried out by Israel in Gaza have killed at least 28,985 people, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.

The Brazilian president also criticized recent decisions by major Western donors to suspend their funding of the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, whose 12 employees Israel has accused of being involved in the Hamas attack.

Brazil will increase its own contribution to the agency, said Lula, who met Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh on Saturday on the sidelines of the summit, urging other countries to do the same.

“When I see rich countries announcing that they are stopping contributing to humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, I imagine the extent of the political consciousness of these people and the spirit of solidarity that animates them,” he quipped.

“We must stop being small when we must be big.”

He reiterated his call for a settlement of the conflict based on the coexistence of two States, with Palestine “definitively recognized as a sovereign State in its own right”.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116