November 16, 2011 - 1:00am

France's Foreign Ministry summoned Israel's ambassador on Wednesday over an airstrike in Gaza that injured the French consul and his family on Sunday.

Majdi Jameel Yaseen Shaqqoura and his daughter were injured by shrapnel and his wife suffered a miscarriage when Israeli warplanes bombed a police building in Beit Lahiya early Monday morning, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights said in a statement.

"This morning we reminded the Israeli ambassador how much we deplore the consequences of this raid for the head of our consulate and his family," Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said in a regular online briefing.

"While we recognize Israel's need to ensure its security, he (the ambassador) was reminded about the importance of keeping civilians and the French presence in Gaza from being affected," he added.

The Israeli army said in a statement the strike "hit a terror activity center" in the northern Gaza Strip.

PCHR said the attack was "part of systematic violations perpetrated in the occupied Palestinian territory, particularly the Gaza Strip, which reflects Israeli forces' disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians."

The rights group urged the international community to take action against Israeli war crimes.

The raid, which killed one policeman and wounded four others after militants from the coastal territory fired a rocket into southern Israel, has added to strains in an already tense relationship between France and Israel.

Journalists overheard French President Nicolas Sarkozy describing Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as "a liar" in a conversation with US President Barack Obama at a G20 summit in Cannes earlier this month.

In an apparent effort to clear the air, Sarkozy wrote to Netanyahu reaffirming friendship, despite what he referred to as their "differing views on the Middle East."


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