French parliament head denies silence for Gaza casualty
A French lawmaker has criticized the president of the French parliament for refusing to observe a minute of silence in honor of a Foreign Ministry staffer killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza.
Mathilde Panot, a member of the left-wing La France Insoumise (LFI) party, expressed her disappointment on Tuesday, remembering Ahmad Abu Shamla, a ministry employee for 23 years, who was killed in the airstrikes. "This morning, I asked the National Assembly to hold a minute of silence. The president of the National Assembly refused. This is shameful," Panot stated.
The staffer, injured in an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, died from his injuries on Saturday, as reported by the ministry. The ministry also noted that a colleague's house from the French Consulate, where the staffer sought refuge, was bombed on December 13. "Our colleague has been serving France since 2002," the ministry commented, extending condolences to his family.
Elsa Faucillon, another left-wing French lawmaker, identified the victim as Ahmad Abu Shamla. She revealed, "France did not authorize his four older sons to leave Gaza. He chose to stay with them and was killed in the bombardment."
Since the Palestinian group Hamas launched a cross-border attack on October 7, Israel has responded with air and land bombardments and a ground offensive in Gaza. Gaza's health authorities report that at least 19,600 Palestinians, mostly children and women, have been killed and over 52,500 injured in these attacks. The Israeli death toll from the Hamas attack is 1,200, with more than 130 hostages still held by the group in Gaza, as per official figures.