Greece’s ruling SYRIZA party on Tuesday appeared conflicted during a debate in Parliament over events in Gaza on Monday, where dozens of Palestinians were killed by Israeli gunfire.
Lawmakers struggled to take into account diplomatic exigencies and at the same time satisfy SYRIZA voters.
MPs used very sharp language to condemn Israel, and even took an indirect but clear jab at Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias over the content of the press release issued by the ministry on the events in Gaza.
“Yesterday we all witnessed another slaughter of Palestinians by Israeli troops,” Parliament Speaker Nikos Voutsis said.
SYRIZA MP Anneta Kavvadia spoke of a “mass murder” and “murderous attack by the Israeli army” which has been handled by the international community “with outrageous indifference and calls for self-restraint… in a cynical effort to equate the perpetrator with the victim."
In a press release issued earlier, the foreign ministry expressed its “abhorrence and deep concern” at the deaths of Palestinian protesters from Israeli soldiers called on both sides to show restraint to avoid escalating the violence.
“It is imperative that restraint be shown in order to avoid further escalation and more victims. Israel needs to respect the right to peaceful demonstration and avoid the use of disproportionate force. On their part, Hamas and all those organizing the protests in the Gaza Strip need to ensure the peaceful nature of these protests,” it said.