Israeli lawmaker blames pogroms against Palestinians for ‘terrible’ attacks

An Israeli lawmaker has told Al Jazeera that his party warned about events like Saturday’s Hamas attack on Israel if the country’s government continued its illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.

Hamas launched a multipronged assault at dawn on Saturday with thousands of rockets fired at Israel, and the Gaza-based group’s fighters infiltrating Israeli towns and illegal settlements.The attack left at least 600 Israelis dead, including dozens of soldiers, with bodies strewn on roads. Meanwhile, at least 313 Palestinians have been killed and more than 1,700 others wounded in Israeli bombardments of the besieged Gaza enclave.

Ofer Cassif, a member of the Knesset and leftist Hadash coalition, said he warned the situation would “erupt” if the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not change its policies towards Palestinians. Hadash has four seats in the 120-member Knesset.

“We condemn and oppose any assault on innocent civilians. But in contrast to the Israeli government that means that we oppose any assault on Palestinian civilians as well. We must analyse those terrible incidents [the attacks] in the right context – and that is the ongoing occupation,” Cassif said.

“We have been warning time and time again… everything is going to erupt and everybody is going to pay a price – mainly innocent civilians on both sides. And unfortunately, that is exactly what happened,” he said.

“The Israeli government, which is a fascist government, supports, encourages, and leads pogroms against the Palestinians. There is an ethnic cleansing going on. It was obvious the writing was on the wall, written in the blood of the Palestinians – and unfortunately now Israelis as well,” he added.

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