Israel’s attacks on Gaza are ‘collective punishment’ – Egypt’s PM

Egyptian Prime Minister said Palestinian civilians living in Gaza were suffering “collective punishment” from Israel’s retaliatory military campaign for the attacks launched by the Islamist Hamas group on Oct. 7.

“What has taken place, all Palestinians in Gaza have to pay for it,” Mostafa Madbouly said.

“It was collective punishment, not punishment for Hamas, but for all Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip.”

Israel’s response to the massacre that left some 1,200 people dead and hundreds more taken hostage “was unbelievable,” he said at a conference organised by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Riyadh on Monday.

Over 80 per cent of the health facilities in Gaza had been destroyed, he said, while an “estimated 7,000 people remain under the rubble.”

The prime minister said it would take “decades” for Gaza to recover.

On Sunday, the Hamas-controlled health authority put the number of people killed in the Gaza Strip since the start of the war at 34,454.

The figures it publishes make no distinction between civilians and militants and are almost impossible to verify independently.

The WEF conference underway in Saudi Arabia’s capital is focusing on topics including health, the environment, and finance.

Several Western and Arab foreign ministers were due to meet on the fringes of the conference to discuss the Gaza war.  

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