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French lawmakers demand sanctions against Israel amid killing of Foreign Ministry staffer in Gaza

‘They kill hostages, our staffers, above all tens of thousands of women, children. How can France support these criminals?’ say lawmakers

New Delhi, Dec. 18: Left-wing lawmakers in Paris on Monday blasted Tel Aviv over the killing of a French Foreign Ministry staffer in Gaza during an airstrike and demanded sanctions against Israel, reports Anadolu Agency.

According to the report, prominent members of the French parliament accused France of failing to take necessary measures to protect its staffer and his family.

“This act is a consequence of the recent escalation in the region. Unfortunately, more deaths will likely occur,” Carlos Martens Bilongo, a member of the left-wing La France Insoumise (LFI) party, reportedly said.

Bilongo attributed the worsening situation to France’s repeated affirmation of Israel’s right to defend itself, which Israel interprets as “unconditional support.”

Bilongo called for sanctions against Israel and equivalent treatment for French nationals fighting together with the Israeli defense forces.

Aurelien Tache, deputy for Val-d’Oise, a department in the Ile-de-France region of northern France, for his part, said: “They kill hostages, our staffers, above all tens of thousands of women, children. How can France continue to support these criminals?”

Speaking to Anadolu, another legislator for Europe Ecology – The Greens, Sandrine Rousseau, said: “It is essential to increase the pressure on Israel.”

“What is their objective in Gaza? The destruction of this territory? The displacement of its population? We cannot allow what is unfolding before our eyes to continue,” Rousseau said.

“Oct. 7 cannot justify the significant loss of life. I believe we need to explore the option of imposing sanctions against Israel,” she said.

Rousseau said that she does not recall “so many journalists losing their lives in such a short period during a previous conflict, and all without any tangible results.”

The ministry on Saturday condemned the death of its staffer, who left-wing lawmaker Elsa Faucillon named as Ahmad Abu Shamla, due to injuries he sustained in an Israeli airstrike on the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

It said some staffers “sought refuge in the home of a colleague working in the French Consulate, and the house was subjected to Israeli shelling on Dec. 13.”

“France condemns this bombing of a residential building which caused the death of many other civilians,” the ministry said, calling on Israeli authorities to clarify the circumstances of the shelling as soon as possible.

Faucillon said on X on Sunday that Abu Shamla had “worked for the French Institute in Gaza for 23 years.”

“France did not put his four elder sons on the list of persons authorized to leave Gaza. He chose to stay with them, and lost his life in a bombardment,” she said.

Israel’s air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip since the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas have killed more than 19,453 Palestinians, mostly women and children, according to health authorities in the enclave.

The war has left Gaza in ruins with half of the coastal territory’s housing stock damaged or destroyed, and nearly 2 million people displaced within the densely-populated enclave amid shortages of food and clean water.

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