President Lula says war in the Middle East is genocide

He also said he is trying to help get Brazilians out of Gaza

Published on 25/10/2023 - 14:56 By Andreia Verdélio - Brasília

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said Wednesday (Oct. 25) that what is happening in the Middle East is genocide.

“It’s not a war, it’s a genocide that has killed nearly 2 thousand children who have nothing to do with this war, they are victims of this war. And frankly, I don’t know how a human being is capable of war knowing that the result of that war is the death of innocent children,” he declared.

The president attended the installation of the Federation Council at the Planalto presidential palace and spoke briefly because he had an appointment with Qatar’s Emir Tamin bin al Thani to discuss the conflict in the Middle East.

“I have a phone call [scheduled] with the emir of Qatar to try to find someone who can talk to someone to see if they can release first the Brazilians who are stranded in the Gaza Strip, a few kilometers from the border with Egypt, who want to return to Brazil,” he reported.

Some 30 Brazilian nationals are in the Gaza Strip awaiting rescue, but an impasse has arisen among authorities over the opening of the border with Egypt.

The resident has held talks with the leaders of several countries, including Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Iran, Turkey, France, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates, in a bid to mediate a solution to the conflict.

“What is currently happening in the Middle East is serious, and it's not a question of discussing who is right or who is wrong, who fired the first shot and who fired the second,” he added. Brazil advocates the release of hostages and the creation of a humanitarian corridor to allow aid to be sent to Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.

On October 7, Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, launched a surprise missile attack on Israel as well as an incursion of armed fighters by land, killing civilians and military personnel and taking hundreds of Israeli and foreign hostages. In response, Israel bombed several Hamas structures in Gaza and imposed a total siege on the territory, cutting off the supply of water, fuel, and electricity.

The attacks have caused thousands of deaths, injuries, and homeless people in both territories. Approximately 1.4 million people are estimated to have been displaced from their homes in Gaza.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Fernando Fraga

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