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Political Measures and Declarations: How Nations are Reacting to the Israel-Hamas Crisis

8 October 2023

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Countries across the globe have reacted to the abrupt beginning of war between Israel and Hamas rebels, raising worries for the citizens trapped in the crossfire.

After an upsurge of rocket strikes and a sudden invasion of its borders by Hamas terrorists, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared on Saturday that his country is at war. The attack started promptly in the morning, during the Jewish festival of Simchat Torah. According to Israel's national rescue agency, the attack was the bloodiest in Israel in decades with at least 300 deaths and 1,100 injuries.

The Israeli military responded by attacking sites in Gaza. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip have resulted in at least 232 fatalities and 1,700 injuries.

Several Western countries swiftly denounced the Hamas incursion and reaffirmed their support for Israel, whereas others urged both sides to exercise patience. The Israeli prime minister was informed by U.S. President Joe Biden that Washington was prepared to provide "all appropriate means of support."  

"Israel has a right to defend itself and its people. The United States warns against any other party hostile to Israel seeking advantage in this situation," Biden said in a statement.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that "these acts of violence are completely unacceptable" and that his country supports Israel's right to self-defence. In a statement condemning the attack on Israel, UN envoy for Middle East peace Tor Wennesland issued the following warning: "This is a dangerous precipice, and I appeal to all to pull back from the brink."

Egypt issued a warning about "grave consequences" in the Middle East and urged "exercising maximum restraint and avoiding exposing civilians to further danger."

Saudi Arabia, which is currently in discussions with the United States about restoring diplomatic ties with Israel, issued a statement urging both parties to show caution.

The kingdom claimed it has issued many warnings over "the dangers of the situation exploding as a result of the continued occupation [and] the Palestinian people being deprived of their legitimate rights."

Jordan's King Abdullah II requested increased international action to curb the spread of the most recent bloodshed. According to a statement from the Royal Palace, Abdullah and Biden discussed strategies for protecting people and preventing the situation from worsening. Abdullah emphasised the necessity for caution, safety of people, and adherence to international humanitarian law while stating that continuous intensification will have detrimental effects on the area.

Turkey expressed its strong condemnation of the deaths of civilians during the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and stated that it was prepared to assist in de-escalating the situation before it extended to other parts of the region.


Support from Europe for Israel

OIaf Scholz, the chancellor of Germany in Europe, and Karl Nehammer, the chancellor of Austria, both expressed their countries' solidarity with Israel. The bombings stunned British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who said on social media that "Israel has an absolute right to defend itself."

In a show of support, the Israeli flag was flown over the Austrian Foreign Ministry and Chancellor's office in Vienna. 

Akin to Netanyahu, French President Emmanuel Macron denounced the attack on Israel and claimed to have spoken with Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and other regional leaders about the matter.

Both Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen acknowledged Israel's right to self-defense "against such heinous attacks," and both denounced what they called a "terrorist attack" on the nation.

Australia, Kenya, and Japan also expressed support.

"We repudiate the planners, funders and implementers of this heinous attack. While Israel has a right to retaliate, a peaceful path to resolving this unfortunate development is urged," Korir Sing'oei, principal secretary at Kenya's Foreign Affairs Ministry, said on X, previously known as Twitter.

In a statement published on X, Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong criticised "the attacks on Israel by Hamas including indiscriminate rocket fire on cities & civilians" and demanded an end to the hostilities.

According to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Japan vehemently opposes missile attacks and cross-border assaults into Israeli territory by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups.

According to the ministry, Japan implores all parties to show the greatest prudence in order to avoid further injury.
 

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