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Brazil’s president sparked a row on Monday by accusing Israel of “killing innocent people without any criteria” in the Gaza Strip, deeming its actions there “as serious” as the October 7 attacks by the Hamas terror group.

“After the terrorist act instigated by Hamas, the consequences, the solution of the State of Israel, are as serious as that of Hamas,” Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said at a ceremony in Brasilia honoring Brazilians evacuated from Gaza.

“They kill innocent people without any criteria,” Lula said. He also accused Israel of “dropping bombs where there are children and hospitals, under the pretext that there is a terrorist there.”

“They don’t kill soldiers, they kill children,” he told reporters at Brasilia air base, claiming the number of women and children killed or missing was unprecedented.

78-year-old Lula, who hugged and kissed the returnees on the tarmac, said he had “never” seen “such brutal and inhumane violence against innocent people.”

‘This is inexplicable. First you have to save the women and children, and then fight whoever you want,” Lula said.

But representatives of Brazil’s Jewish community called his comments “wrong,” “dishonest” and “dangerous.”

They said the comments “put Israel and Hamas on the same level,” and defended the Israeli authorities’ “visible and proven” efforts “to rescue Palestinian civilians.”

“Our community expects balance from our authorities,” the Israeli Confederation of Brazil, which claims to represent about 120,000 Brazilian Jews, the second-largest community in the region, added in a statement.