France summons Israeli ambassador over wounded diplomat

16th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

France summoned the Israeli ambassador in Paris to a meeting at the foreign ministry Wednesday to protest after an air strike wounded a French diplomat in Gaza along with his wife and daughter.

A spokesman for the ministry said that France's ambassador in Tel Aviv had complained to Israeli authorities over the bombing, and that Israel's envoy had been required to meet with senior officials in Paris.

The head of France's Gaza consulate, Majdi Shakura, was hurt in an Israeli airstrike on the Palestinian territory on the night of Sunday to Monday.

He told AFP earlier this week that he and his daughter suffered cuts from flying glass when the windows of their house blew in, and that his wife, who was two months pregnant, suffered a miscarriage.

Israeli forces said the raid was a response to a rocket strike launched from the area. Palestinian medical sources said that a 20-year-old policeman was killed in the bombing.

"This morning, at the foreign ministry, we reminded the Israeli ambassador of the extent to which we strongly regret the results of this raid for the head of our Gaza consular section and his family," said Bernard Valero.

"He was reminded that, while we recognise the need of Israel to protect its security, it is important to prevent any harm coming to civilians or the French presence in Gaza," the spokesman said.

On Tuesday, the Israeli army chief of staff, General Benny Gantz, warned that further rocket fire by Palestinian militants in Gaza will push Israel into taking "aggressive and meaningful action".

© 2011 AFP

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