Kåre Willoch, former Prime Minister of Norway, speaks out on Israel. Photo: Berit Roald/Scanpix
Former Norwegian Prime Minister and Conservative Party chairman Kåre Willoch has called the Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip "meaningless and grotesque".
Willoch voiced alarm over the 200 Palestinians killed in the latest unrest, the number of wounded, and the stopping of emergency aid supplies.
Speaking to newspaper Dagsavisen, he said: "This is a meaningless, grotesque bombardment of densely populated areas in order to be allowed to continue the blockade."
When asked if Israel had the right to defend itself from missile attacks from the Gaza Strip, Willoch, who led an Israel-friendly government in the 1980s, said:
"The right to self-defence is very clear." But: "Israel knows that if they give up the blockade of Gaza and stop the occupation, there will be an arrangement that leads to a final ending of the hostility between Palestinians and Israelis. The cause for the unrest is the blockade and the occupation. And that is where the solution lies."
Willoch points simultaneously to what he views as a ray of hope, as increasing numbers of Jews, both inside and outside of Israel, criticize Israel’s methods.
He argues that continuing on today’s path would be disastrous for Israel, leading to more hatred and conflict.