"It is time for those criminals to stop carrying out their terrorist acts in the name of Palestine by claiming it was in support for its children /.../ Our people and children condemn with the strongest words possible this criminal terrorism. No Palestinian child can accept crimes against innocent lives"
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad

A statement from Gaza in response to the tragic events in Toulouse

The events in Toulouse this week have culminated in the capture of an alleged ‘Al Qaeda’ gunman. The gunman mercilessly killed 7 French citizens: 3 Jewish children, their teacher, and 3 soldiers. It has since been reported that avenging US foreign policy interventions, and the suffering of Palestinians, were his motives.

As Palestinians we deplore this despicable act of inhumanity. We are unable to stand idly by whilst the Palestinian struggle for justice and equality is degraded by its association with the murderous impulses of extremist ideology. Extremist forces infiltrate societies everywhere and they feed each other with racism and violence. Trapped in the middle are average citizens who represent the majority: a majority who seek justice and dignity for both sides.

As Palestinians we feel it is our duty to speak out against virulent forms of extremism that seek to undermine our legitimate struggle for an end to violence and illegal Israeli occupation. We stand by the families of those slain in Toulouse. We urge you to view these murders through the lens of one man's ideology. This act of evil is not representative, nor indicative, of anything other than his own warped nature. These anomalous acts run the risk of tipping communities into more violence.

And, as Palestinians we know too well what it means for these scales to tip. As Palestinians, we insist that our common humanity prevail.

Eyad Sarraj
Gaza Community Mental Health Programme

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