World reaction to Israel’s continuing attacks in Gaza

At least 188 people, including 55 children, killed in Gaza since Israel’s latest attacks were launched on Monday.

Israeli soldiers walk next to tanks near the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, on its Israeli side [Amir Cohen/Reuters]
Israeli soldiers walk next to tanks near the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, on its Israeli side [Amir Cohen/Reuters]

At least 188 people, including 55 children, have been killed after Israel launched air attacks on Gaza earlier this week.

Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City flattened three buildings and killed at least 42 people on Sunday.

The assault was the deadliest single attack since Israel’s bombardment of the besieged territory began nearly a week ago, marking the worst escalation in violence since the devastating war in 2014.

Here is how the world is reacting to the latest Israeli attacks in Gaza:

United States

The United States told the United Nations Security Council on Sunday it has made clear to Israel, the Palestinians and others that it is ready to offer support “should the parties seek a ceasefire” to end the worsening violence between Israel and Palestinian fighters in Gaza.

“The United States has been working tirelessly through diplomatic channels to try to bring an end to this conflict,” US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the 15-member council.

“Because we believe Israelis and Palestinians equally have a right to live in safety and security.”

Washington – a strong ally of Israel – has been isolated at the United Nations over its objection to a public statement by the Security Council on the worst violence between Israel and the Palestinians in years because it worries it could harm behind-the-scenes diplomacy.

On Saturday, US President Joe Biden, in a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, expressed his “grave concern” over the flareup of violence in Israel and Gaza, the White House said.

The White House also said it had communicated with Israel over the need to ensure the safety of journalists after the Israeli military destroyed the building housing the Al Jazeera and AP offices.

“We have communicated directly to the Israelis that ensuring the safety and security of journalists and the independent media is a paramount responsibility,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a tweet.

China

China on Sunday voiced regret that the United States was blocking a UN Security Council statement on Israeli-Palestinian violence as it urged greater international efforts to stop the bloodshed.

“Regrettably, simply because of the obstruction of one country, the Security Council hasn’t been able to speak with one voice,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi, whose country holds the Council’s rotating presidency, told a virtual session.

“We call upon the US to shoulder its responsibilities, take a just position, and together with most of the international community support the Security Council in easing the situation,” she said.

Jordan

Jordan’s King Abdullah said on Sunday that his kingdom was involved in intensive diplomacy to halt what he characterised as Israeli military escalation in the worst Israeli-Palestinian violence in years.

The monarch, whose ruling family has custodianship of Muslim and Christian sites in Jerusalem, did not elaborate on the diplomacy, which was communicated via a news flash on state media.

Jordanian government officials have told Reuters news agency the pro-Western kingdom is leading a diplomatic campaign with its European and US allies to put pressure on Israel to end its air and artillery barrage on Gaza since fighting erupted last Monday.

Earlier on Sunday, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said Israel’s actions were pushing the region towards a wider conflict.

Palestinian envoys

The Palestinian mission to the United Nations asked US President Joe Biden to explain the recent attacks.

“How is blowing up @AP & @AJArabic offices defined as a form of ‘defence’?” the mission said in a tweet on Saturday.

United Nations

The United Nations Human Rights chief has urged Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers to reduce tensions.

Michelle Bachelet said in a statement that “rather than seeking to calm tensions, inflammatory rhetoric from leaders on all sides appears to be seeking to excite tensions rather than to calm them”.

Bachelet’s statement was issued shortly before an Israeli air attack destroyed the building in Gaza City that housed Al Jazeera and AP offices.

Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera condemned the bombing and destruction of its offices and said it was a clear act to stop journalists from conducting their duty.

“We call on the international community to condemn such barbaric actions and targeting of journalists and we demand an immediate international action to hold Israel accountable for its deliberate targeting of journalists and the media institutions,” Dr Mostefa Souag, acting director general of Al Jazeera Media Network, said in a statement.

The Associated Press

“We are shocked and horrified that the Israeli military would target and destroy the building housing AP’s bureau and other news organisations in Gaza. They have long known the location of our bureau and knew journalists were there. We received a warning that the building would be hit,” AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt said in a statement.

“We are seeking information from the Israeli government and are engaged with the US State Department to try to learn more.

“This is an incredibly disturbing development. We narrowly avoided a terrible loss of life. A dozen AP journalists and freelancers were inside the building and thankfully we were able to evacuate them in time.”

An explosion is seen near a tower housing AP, Al Jazeera offices (C) during Israeli missile attacks in Gaza City [Ashraf Abu Amrah/Reuters]

Turkey

The communications director to Turkey’s president tweeted that Israel’s targeting of The Associated Press and Al Jazeera offices in Gaza were a blow to the freedom of the press.

“I curse these lowly attacks by Israel hitting press centres to cover up its massacres,” Fahrettin Altun said after the attack, adding that “Israel is continuing its massacres and war crimes”.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu tweeted that Turkey stands with the Palestinians, who are still facing “ethnic, religious and cultural cleansing”.

Qatar

Qatar’s foreign minister has met with a top Hamas official, according to a statement by Qatar’s Foreign Ministry on Saturday.

It said Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani met Hamas leader Ismail Haniya in the capital, Doha.

The Foreign Ministry said Sheikh Mohammed “stressed the need for the international community to act urgently to stop the repeated brutal Israeli attacks against civilians in Gaza.”

Hamas

A top Hamas leader has said the group in the Gaza Strip will not retreat in the face of attacks by Israeli troops.

Ismail Haniyeh spoke during a rally attended by hundreds in Qatar on Saturday. He said that “resistance is the shortest road to Jerusalem” and that Palestinians will not accept anything less than a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

Palestinian group Hamas’ top leader, Ismail Haniyeh, gestures as he speaks during his visit at a refugee camp in Lebanon [FIle: Aziz Taher/Reuters]

Amnesty International

Amnesty International has called on the US and the UN to end the “cycle of impunity and violations” by “publicly denouncing war crimes”.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

Related

More from News
Most Read