Israel using 'disproportionate' force in Gaza, Italy's Tajani says

Palestinians inspect the ruins of Al-Huda Mosque, which was destroyed following an Israeli bombing on the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist Hamas movement. Israel is planning a ground offensive on Rafah, into which hundreds of thousands of civilians have fled Israeli bombardment. Mohammed Talatene/dpa
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Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani on Tuesday called Israel's response to the October 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas "disproportionate."

"There are too many victims who have nothing to do with Hamas at all," Tajani, who also serves as deputy prime minister, told RAI Radio 1, emphasizing that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must do more to protect Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.

The minister's criticism comes as Israel says it is preparing for a major ground offensive in Rafah, where some 1.3 million people are now residing, most of them internally displaced.

Italy currently holds the presidency of the Group of Seven (G7) major industrialized democracies.

Tajani is the leader of Forza Italia, the conservative party founded by Silvio Berlusconi.

Palestinians inspect damaged residential buildings where two Israeli hostages were reportedly held in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip. The two hostages were rescued as part of an operation that began with heavy IDF airstrikes. Abed Rahim Khatib/dpa
Palestinians inspect damaged residential buildings where two Israeli hostages were reportedly held in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip. The two hostages were rescued as part of an operation that began with heavy IDF airstrikes. Abed Rahim Khatib/dpa
Palestinians mourn their relatives who were killed in an Israeli bombing on the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. Israel is planning a ground offensive on Rafah, into which hundreds of thousands of civilians have fled Israeli bombardment. Mohammed Talatene/dpa
Palestinians mourn their relatives who were killed in an Israeli bombing on the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. Israel is planning a ground offensive on Rafah, into which hundreds of thousands of civilians have fled Israeli bombardment. Mohammed Talatene/dpa