Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff condemned Israel’s offensive in Gaza as a “massacre”, joining international calls for a halt to the bloodshed.
“What’s happening in Gaza is dangerous. I don’t think it’s a genocide, but I think it’s a massacre,” Rousseff said at a forum organized by newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo, endorsing the United Nations’ call for an immediate ceasefire, AFP reported Monday.
“It’s a humanitarian issue. This can’t be done in such a small strip (of territory), with people who are in a situation of great insecurity, very threatened, with many women and children,” she said.
“We know that in a war like this, the ones who pay are the civilians. ”
She criticized the Israeli campaign as “disproportionate” — echoing a statement released by the Brazilian foreign ministry last week when it recalled its ambassador to Israel, a move that caused a row between Brazil and Israel.
Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesman Yigal Palmor responded by calling Brazil a “diplomatic dwarf.”
“I regret those words,” Rousseff said. “Words, including the spokesman’s, sometimes create a very bad climate. In this case, we have to be very careful. ”
Around 1,100 Palestinians have been killed and nearly 6,500 others injured since Israel unleashed its offensive on the Gaza Strip on July 8.
The Moroccan Times.