BRASILIA, Brazil: President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil has accused Israel of engaging in actions in the Gaza Strip that he deemed as severe as the October 7 attacks by Palestinian group Hamas.
Lula condemned Israel for what he described as the indiscriminate killing of innocent people, particularly in areas with children and hospitals. The Brazilian leader’s statements faced criticism from representatives of Brazil’s Jewish community, who denounced them as “erroneous,” “unfair,” and “dangerous,” asserting that such remarks equate Israel and Hamas.
In response to the accusations, the Israeli Confederation of Brazil emphasized the “visible and proven” efforts of Israeli authorities to save Palestinian civilians and urged for balance from Brazilian authorities.
The backdrop to Lula’s comments lies in the conflict initiated by Hamas on October 7, resulting in approximately 1,200 deaths, according to Israeli authorities. Israel, in retaliation, carried out relentless attacks on Gaza, resulting in over 11,240 casualties, predominantly civilians, including 4,630 children, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.
Lula’s remarks coincided with the reception of 22 Brazilians and their families in Brasilia, who were evacuated from Gaza after more than a month of waiting in the conflict zone, entering Brazil via the land border with Egypt.