Chavez calls Israeli offensive in Gaza ‘cowardly’

January 7th, 2009 - 4:53 am ICT by IANS  

Caracas, Jan 7 (DPA) Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has called the Israeli Army “cowardly” for its offensive in the Gaza Strip, and said the people of Israel should protest the operation that has killed more than 580 people.”How cowardly is the Israeli Army. They attack a people that is exhausted, asleep, innocent, and they boast that they are defending their people,” Chavez told reporters Tuesday. “I call upon the people of Israel to rise against that government.”

He said that presidents Shimon Peres of Israel and George W. Bush of the US should be tried for “genocide” at the International Court of Justice.

During a visit to a children’s hospital in Caracas, Chavez said the international community must put a stop to the “madness” in Gaza, adding that his government was working to get humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people.

Chavez said while his government respected Israelis living in Venezuela, he wished that “the Jewish Venezuelan community spoke against this barbarity”.

“They accuse (Iranian President) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of being responsible for genocide but there is not one piece of evidence, he has invaded no one. Venezuela has not invaded anyone either. They accuse (traditional Cuban leader) Fidel Castro of being a tyrant and a murderer,” Chavez said of several of his allies.

He complained that no such accusations were being made against Israel’s Peres. “How cynical the world is,” Chavez said.

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