Karzai condemns Israel’s airstrikes on Gaza

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KABUL  (AFP) – Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday condemned Israel’s airstrikes on Gaza and called for an “immediate stop” to violence against civilians, a statement from his office said.

“President Hamid Karzai strongly condemns the strikes by Israel against the Palestinian territory that have killed and injured a number of innocent civilians,” the statement said.

“Harming civilians is unjustifiable on any side and anywhere,” the president was quoted as saying.

“Afghanistan fully supports any efforts that can ensure a ceasefire,” he added.

According to Palestinian medics, 38 Gazans have been killed and 345 wounded since Israel launched the aerial campaign on the Palestinian enclave on Wednesday.

In the same period, three Israeli civilians have been killed.

Afghanistan does not have diplomatic relations with Israel, and has supported the Palestinian cause for a separate state in the past.

“We have always defended Palestinians’ right for an independent state and we will continue to stand behind them in the future,” foreign ministry spokesman Janan Mosazai told AFP.

Civilian casualties caused by NATO strikes in Afghanistan have roiled relations between Karzai and Israel’s top ally the United States, which leads NATO forces to fight against the Taliban insurgency.

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