Palestinian children examined the rubble left after an Israeli strike on a house in Gaza City, November 21, 2011.
Israel's Ambassador to Germany Yaakov Hadas-Handelsman has taken a swipe at a German columnist for his article in which he compared the Gaza Strip with the Nazi concentration camps.
In a Saturday interview with the German daily Rheinische Post
, Hadas-Handelsman described as “shameful” the comparison that columnist Jakob Augstein made in his article published in Der Spiegel
The German author had also said that "Gaza is a place out of the end of times... 1.7 million people live there on 360 sq. kilometers.”
Augstein, a vocal critic of the Israeli regime, later said he “went too far” by the word “camp” but again attacked the Israeli regime by comparing it to the former Apartheid regime in South Africa.
The Israeli envoy said any criticism of his regime’s policies by German people is different from similar censures by the British or the Norwegians and urged the Germans to be more careful about their criticism of Israel.
Gaza has been blockaded since June 2007, a situation that has caused a decline in the standard of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty for Palestinians.
Israel denies about 1.7 million people in Gaza their basic rights such as freedom of movement, jobs that pay proper wages and adequate healthcare and education.
Israel invaded the Gaza Strip in mid-November and killed more than 160 people and injured some 1,400 others during eight days of massive airstrikes on the besieged territory.