First Published: 2009-01-28

France summons Israel ambassador over Gaza shot

Paris: Israeli troops fired warning shots at European diplomats blocked at Gaza border crossing.


Middle East Online

Protesting warning shots while silent on targeting Gaza civilians?

PARIS - France has summoned Israel's ambassador to protest after Israeli troops fired warning shots as European diplomats were blocked at a Gaza border crossing, the foreign ministry said Wednesday.

A diplomatic convoy carrying France's consul general was halted by Israeli troops at the Erez border crossing on Tuesday and held for six hours as it tried to leave the Gaza Strip and return to Jerusalem, a spokesman said.

"The convoy, which included other European diplomats, was subject to two warning shots from Israeli soldiers," French spokesman Eric Chevallier said.

Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner summoned Israeli Ambassador Daniel Shek "to protest this unacceptable incident and demand an explanation," he said.

Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yossi Levy said all border crossings were closed for several hours on Tuesday.

"This measure was not specifically aimed against the French consul general," said Levy, without explaining the reason for firing warning shots.

Israel's war on Gaza killed 1,330 Palestinians, mainly civilians, and wounded 5,450 others.

Among the dead were 437 children, 110 women, 123 elderly men, 14 medics and four journalists.

The wounded include 1,890 children and 200 people in serious condition. Six hundred injured people have been transferred outside Gaza for treatment.

The war also left tens of thousands of houses destroyed, while their residents remained homeless in the winter cold.


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