Tuesday, June 16, 2009
"Tragically, the international community too often ignores the cries for help and the citizens of Palestine are treated more like animals than like human beings," he said Tuesday as he toured the war-torn, blockaded Gaza Strip.
"The starving of 1.5 million human beings of the necessities of life — never before in history has a large community like this been savaged by bombs and missiles and then denied the means to repair itself," Carter said at a U.N. school graduation ceremony in
He was referring to the blockade that
"Palestinian statehood cannot come at the expense of
Carter, who brokered the historic 1979 peace treaty between
The offensive killed more than 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis and left large swathes of the coastal strip sandwiched between
"I have to hold back tears when I see the deliberate destruction that has been wracked against your people," he said earlier at a destroyed American school, decrying the fact that the school was "deliberately destroyed by bombs from F16s made in my country."
"I feel partially responsible for this as must all Americans and Israelis."
Carter also is to meet Ismail Haniya, prime minister of the
He is expected to pass on a letter from the parents of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier that
In an interview with an Israeli daily published earlier in the week, Carter urged
Shortly after entering
The massive destruction in the area has made it a regular stop for the succession of foreign dignitaries who have come to
As Carter briefly got out of his vehicle to take a look at the damage, one resident ran up, yelling he wanted to talk to the former US leader, and getting into a brief shoving match with bodyguards.
"They all come here and look at us like we’re animals and then they go home," said Majid Athamna. "We’re not animals, we’re human beings."
"If he wants to come and visit us, he has to listen to us."