Israel army 'unaware' of French diplomat hurt in Gaza strike

AFP , Tuesday 15 Nov 2011

Israeli occupation forces deny knowledge of injuries sustained by French diplomat and his family, including reported miscarriage, during Gaza raid

The Israeli military said on Tuesday that it was not aware that a French consular official had been hurt along with members of his family in an air strike on the Gaza Strip earlier this week.

Majdi Shakoura, 44, head of France's consular affairs in the territory, said he and his 13-year-old daughter had been cut by flying glass, and that his wife Majida, 42, had suffered a miscarriage when the windows of their home near Gaza City were shattered when an Israeli aircraft destroyed a nearby Hamas base.

"My wife, two months pregnant, lost her baby," he told AFP on Monday, after the overnight raid.

But a spokesman said the military had received "no complaint in any form."

"It could be that a nearby window broke as a result of the attack," he said, suggesting that a miscarriage could be triggered "if a person panicked."

He said the air force had launched a precise strike on a location from which militants had earlier fired a rocket at Israel, which he blamed on Gaza's Hamas rulers.

"Hamas is responsible for the rocket fire at us. They should think at least twice if it is worth it for them to shoot at our citizens," he said. "We hit the target we set – the place from where they shot at us."

Shakoura holds French and Palestinian citizenship.

The Israeli raid killed one Palestinian and wounded six others, among them two policemen, Gaza Emergency Services spokesman Adham Abu Selmiya said.

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