France Irate Over IAF Gaza Air Strike
Israeli Ambassador to France Yossi Gal was summoned by the French Foreign Ministry Wednesday to receive a tongue lashing about Israel's air strike Sunday in Gaza.
The IDF had retaliated against the Palestinian Authority terrorists who were raining mortar shells and rocket fire on cities and towns in southern Israel for days.
One Hamas “police officer” was killed in the raid, and four other members of the terrorist organization were wounded.
But it turned out that the French consul, his wife and 13-year-old daughter were also living in the area where the targeted terrorists chose to hide. And all three were hit by flying shrapnel during Sunday's night air strike.
“We reminded the Israeli ambassador how much we deplore the consequences of this raid for the head of our consulate and his family,” French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero in a routine Internet briefing following Gal's meeting, Reuters reported.
“While we need to recognize Israel's need to ensure its security, [the ambassador] was reminded about the importance of keeping civilians and the French presence in Gaza from being affected.”
French president Nicolas Sarkozy this week sent a letter of apology to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in the wake of an embarrassing incident in which he was caught off-mike confiding to U.S. President Barack Obama that he “cannot stand” Israel's top leader, who he called “a liar.”
Obama's response, equally revealing, was, “You're fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day!”
Sarkozy's letter, sent along with condolences following the death of his father-in-law, Shmuel Ben-Artzi, said that Netanyahu has the French president's “friendship” despite their “differing views on the problems of the Middle East.”