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Civilians Paying Price for War in Gaza, Says Brazilian President

Brazil’s president on Monday criticized the Israeli government for continuing its military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

“I think there are politicians who simply don’t want peace. I think the population really wants peace. But there are others with different interests. And I deeply regret this,” Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva told a joint news conference in Berlin alongside German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Lula condemned Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, but also criticized the Israeli military offensive in Gaza, which has killed nearly 15,900 people, most of them women and children.

“It was not only a terrorist attack, it was also an irresponsible act. But who’s paying the price for that? It’s the Palestinian civilians, they are women and children. They are innocent civilians,” he said, in remarks translated into German.

The Brazilian president also criticized UN Security Council members for failing to agree on a cease-fire call, and not undertaking strong efforts to alleviate the suffering of the civilian population.

“You can only discuss peace if you sit down at the negotiating table. That is the role of the United Nations, but it is simply not living up to its responsibility,” Lula said.

He underlined that Brazil will continue its diplomatic efforts for a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“I strongly believe that the only solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the creation of two states, each population living on its territory, and peacefully coexisting with its neighbor,” he said.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Germany supports Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas, and repeated his opposition to calls for a cease-fire between the warring parties.

“Israel must also have the right to defeat Hamas, and prevent them from continuing to carry out such terror acts” he said, arguing that a two-state solution is not possible with Hamas.

“A two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians will certainly not work with a Hamas, as it wants to invade Israel, and prohibit 10 million people living there from living in their state,” he said.

Scholz is facing criticism at home for providing blanket support to the Israeli government, and refraining from criticizing Israeli attacks in Gaza.

A recent poll by the Allensbach Institute found that most Germans are against taking sides in the Israel-Palestine conflict, and strongly oppose providing military support to Israel.

Source : aa