France - Gaza offensive - 
Article published the Friday 16 November 2012 - Latest update : Friday 16 November 2012

Hollande calls for restraint on both sides but Gaza ceasefire broken

Firefighters try to extinguish a fire at a Gaza factory, which Palestinians say was hit by an Israeli air strike on Friday
Reuters/Ahmed Zakot


France is working “intensively” to prevent an escalation of the Gaza conflict, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Thursday. President François Hollande called for restraint on both sides in a phone call to Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi but a Friday morning ceasefire failed to hold.

The ceasefire declared while Egyptian prime minister Hisham Qandil visited Gaza on Friday appeared to have been broken by both sides, with Israeli bombs killing two Palestinians and rockets fired from Gaza hitting Israel.

Dubbing Israel’s actions an “aggression”, Qandil, who had just visited victims of air strikes at Gaza City's Shifa hospital, said that his country will “intensify its efforts” to achieve “a lasting truce".

Over 20 Palestinians and three Israelis were reported to have died by mid-morning Friday, following Wednesday's killing of Hamas military commander, Ahmed al-Jabari.

Hollande expressed France’s “great concern” over the latest violence in a phone call to Morsi late Thursday and called for “restraint” to avoid an escalation of the conflict.

Hollande “stressed the role that Egypt could play in reducing tension”.

“All the international community’s efforts should converge on avoiding any unilateral initiative and any provocation that could worsen the situation,” he said according to a presidential communiqué.

Hollande has embarked on “intensive diplomatic activity” and has also contacted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, currently campaigning for an election he has set for 22 January, Ayrault said while on a two-day visit to Germany.

“It’s time to stop this dangerous escalation both for Israel’s security but also for the Palestinians,” he said.

Hollande said he was "seriously concerned  ... both by the rocket attacks on Israel and the reprisals that this escalation may bring" during a visit to Poland on Friday. 

He had told Netanyahu that France is "keenly aware of Israel's need for security but
that it was also a question of not giving in to provocation which could degenerate further", he said.

He had told Mohsi to "use his influence to help avoid further acts", he said.

tags: Benjamin Netanyahu - Bombing - France - France and the world - François Hollande - Gaza - Jean-Marc Ayrault - Military - Mohamed Morsi - Palestine - Palestinian territories - Violence - War
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Comments (1)

Besieged Palestinian Gaza is

Besieged Palestinian Gaza is an experiment in provocation. Stuff one and a half million people into a tiny space, stifle their access to water, electricity, food and medical treatment, destroy their livelihoods, and humiliate them regularly...and, surprise, surprise - they turn hostile. Now why would you want to make that experiment? Because the hostility you provoke is the whole point. Now under attack you can cast yourself as the victim, and call out the helicopter gunships and the F16 attack fighters and the heavy tanks and the guided missiles, and destroy yet more of the pathetic remains of infrastructure that the Palestinian state still has left. And then you can point to it as a hopeless case, unfit to govern itself, a terrorist state, a state with which you couldn't possibly reach an accommodation. And then you can carry on with business as usual, quietly stealing their homeland.

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