Israeli official slams Greta Thunberg after she backs Palestinians in Gaza – POLITICO

The Israeli military lashed out at Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg on Friday, after she sent a message supporting Palestinians and endorsed a comment which said a “genocide” was being perpetrated in Gaza.

Thunberg said “the world needs to speak up and call for an immediate ceasefire, justice and freedom for Palestinians and all civilians affected,” as the Israel-Hamas war escalates and threatens to become a regional conflict.

Thunberg also shared on her Instagram account a post by a German-based pro-Palestinian account which says a “genocide” is happening in Gaza.

The group, Palestine Speaks, talked of its “indignation against genocide in Gaza and the repressive state terror of many Western states against anyone who shows and acts in solidarity with the Palestinians.”

In reaction, Arye Sharuz Shalicar, spokesman for the Israeli army, told POLITICO: “Whoever identifies with Greta in any way in the future, in my view, is a terror supporter.”

He added: “Because what Greta is doing, that she is now showing solidarity with Gaza while not saying a word about the massacres of Israelis, shows that she is actually not in favor of the Palestinians, but that she is sweeping the terror of the Palestinians or Hamas and Islamic Jihad under the table as if it did not exist.”

Arye Sharuz Shalicar later apologized for his remarks about Thunberg supporters and said, “I spoke out of a deep sense of pain and my words do not reflect my personal views or those of the IDF.” 

Hamas militants triggered the most serious military flare-up in decades, after launching a violent attack on Israeli communities earlier this month, killing more than a thousand people and firing rockets at major cities including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Israel has since retaliated with a relentless bombing campaign on the Gaza Strip, as it moves to destroy Hamas.

Pro-Palestinian protests have broken out across Europe, with governments including those in France and Germany looking to crack down.

This story has been updated to reflect an additional comment from Arye Sharuz Shalicar.

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