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GAZA

‘Israel’s right to security doesn’t justify slaughter’

The French government continued to toughened its stance towards Israel on Monday with Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius saying that Israel's "right to security does not justify killing children".

'Israel's right to security doesn't justify slaughter'
A Palestinian girl, wounded following an Israeli military strike, arrives at the hospital in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on August 3, 2014. Photo: Mahmud Hams/AFP

Israel's right to security does not justify its actions in Gaza, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Monday, as he called for a political solution to be "imposed" by the international community.

"How many more deaths will it take to stop what must be called the carnage in Gaza?" Fabius said in a statement. "The tradition of friendship between Israel and France is an old one and Israel's right to security is total, but this right does not justify the killing of children and the slaughter of civilians."

The statement comes amid global outrage over an Israeli strike next to a UN school where ten people were killed, among them civilians who had been seeking refuge from the violence.

Fabius said Islamist group Hamas, the de facto rulers of Gaza, "clearly carries an overwhelming responsibility" for the conflict but that Israel was not justified in carrying out what UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called "a criminal act" with the attack near the school.

"That is why we support and demand the establishment of a real ceasefire as proposed by Egypt and why we are ready, as French and Europeans, to contribute to it in a concrete way," he said.

"It is also why a political solution is essential… and should in my opinion be imposed by the international community," Fabius said.

His statement comes a day after French Prsident François Hollande denounced the "unacceptable" bombing the UN school in Rafah.

The French president did not say who he considered responsible for Sunday's attack, but backed calls by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon "to ask that those responsible for this violation of international law answer for their actions".

Responsibility for the attack had not been formally established by Sunday evening.

The Israeli army said it had targeted "three terrorists" from the Islamic Jihad group riding a motorcycle near the Rafah school and was examining the "consequences of this strike".

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PALESTINE

Kalashnikov photo stunt concerns French cops

An investigation was opened at the weekend after a photos emerged of a man, dressed in army gear symbolically pointing a Kalashnikov rifle at children during a pro-Palestinian demo in Paris.

Kalashnikov photo stunt concerns French cops
A man pulls out a fake Kalashnikov during a pro-Gaza demo in Paris at the weekend. Photo: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP

The stunt saw children lie on the ground while a man dressed as a soldier walked around them pointing a Kalashnikov at them.

The act symbolised the death of Palestinian children at the hands of the Israeli military during the recent armed intervention and was carried out during a Pro-Gaza march in Paris on Saturday.

Authorities were concerned bythe images and launched an immediate probe to find out whether the rifle was real or fake.

On Sunday France Info radio revealed that the weapon was indeed fake after speaking to the man, who was dressed as the soldier.

The protester, named Mohamed, said the rifle was a toy gun and the act was set up “to show what is really happening in Palestine”.

The latest pro-Palestinian march in the French capital saw up to 8,000 protesters take to the streets to condemn Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.

It is the latest in a series of similar rallies that have taken place in the capital, some of which have ended in violence.

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