KKE chief slams Israel's Gaza offensive [Update]

Communist Party (KKE) chief Dimitris Koutsoumbas has accused Israel of engaging in “genocide” against Palestinians as Tel Aviv's offensive in Gaza Strip continued.

“Despite the problems facing our people, we must not underestimate the fact that a genocide is taking place in our neighborhood. Innocent children, women, families are being killed,” Koutsoumbas said during a meeting with Greek President Karolos Papoulias in Athens on Wednesday.

In his comments, Papoulias said he shared the concerns of the country's communist leader.

“There are things going on in our neighborhood that have taken a dramatic turn and I don't believe that Greeks feel disinterested as they are very sensitive to these issues,” he said.

More than 650 Palestinians have been killed in the fighting, now in its third week, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. Three civilians have been killed in Israel, including a foreign worker who died in a rocket attack on Wednesday. At least 29 soldiers have died in combat and one is missing.

Koutsoumbas also called on the government to cancel all its bilateral agreements with Israel. After his meeting Papoulias, Koutsoumbas told reporters that the government must cancel all its agreements with Israel, “especially the military ones, but also the political and economic ones” so as not to support “a regime that is murdering the Palestinian people... and creating problems and the risk of upheaval in the whole Mediterranean region.”