Gaza: World leaders' response

The international community has been deeply divided over Gaza in the month since the Israeli offensive began.

    Gaza: World leaders' response
    More than 1,800 Palestinians, and 66 Israelis, have been killed since July 8 [AP]

    The shellings and rocket fire over the Gaza Strip have stopped for now, as a ceasefire holds for a third day.

    The international community has been deeply divided over the Israeli army offensive in Gaza since its launch one month ago.

    Leaders like US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have repeatedly stressed Israel's right to self-defence. Meanwhile, countries around the world - including allies of Israel - have condemned it for the large death toll among Palestinians in Gaza.

    More than 1,800 Palestinians have been killed, most of them civilians. Sixty-six Israelis, mostly soldiers, and one foreign worker in Israel, were also killed.

    Below, read what presidents, premiers, kings, foreign ministers, and secretaries-general have had to say about the Gaza conflict:

    United States - President Barack Obama

    "Israel has a right to defend itself against rocket and tunnel attacks from Hamas. And as a result of its operations, Israel has already done significant damage to Hamas' terrorist infrastructure in Gaza. I've also said, however, that we have serious concerns about the rising number of Palestinian civilian deaths and the loss of Israeli lives."

    Saudi Arabia - King Abdullah

    "We see the blood of our brothers in Palestine shed in collective massacres that have not excluded anyone. War crimes are committed against humanity without any human or moral deterrenceTerrorism has gained various forms, whether groups, organisations or countries which makes it most dangerous in potential, intentions and plots. All of this is happening while the international community is watching silently with all its institutions and organisations."

    United Kingdom - Prime Minister David Cameron

    "We obviously think it's appalling, the loss of life that there's been. From the start, though, we've also made the point that if the Hamas rocket attacks on Israel stop, then that would be probably the fastest way to stop this conflict."

    Arab League - Secretary-General Nabil el-Araby

    "[Arab League Secretary-General Nabil el-Araby] ... considered Israel's terrible shelling and ground attack operations in the neighbourhood of Shujayea as a war crime against Palestinian civilians and a dangerous escalation."

    France - Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius

    "The tradition of friendship between Israel and France is an old one and Israel's right to security is total, but this right does not justify the killing of children and the slaughter of civilians."

    Egypt - Foreign Ministry

    "Egypt rejects Israel's irresponsible escalation in the occupied Palestinian lands amid its excess and unjustifiable use of military force and the subsequent bloodshed of innocent civilians."

    Germany - Chancellor Angela Merkel

    "There is a new quality of Hamas arms - Tel Aviv, Jerusalem can be reached with rockets - so countries should be able to defend themselves from such attacks… Both sides must accept painful compromises but we stand by the side of Israel when it comes to self-defence."

    Brazil - Foreign Ministry

    "We strongly condemn the disproportionate use of force by Israel in the Gaza Strip, from which large numbers of civilian casualties, including women and children, resulted."

    United Nations - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

    "United Nations shelters must be safe zones, not combat zones. The Israel Defence Forces have been repeatedly informed of the location of these sites. This attack [on August 3], along with other breaches of international law, must be swiftly investigated and those responsible held accountable. It is a moral outrage and a criminal act."

    Turkey - Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

    "How can you explain what the Israeli state has been doing in Gaza, Palestine, if not genocide? This is racism. This is fascism. This is keeping Hitler's spirit alive."

    India - Foreign Ministry

    "India is deeply concerned at the steep escalation of violence between Israel and Palestine, particularly, heavy air strikes in Gaza, resulting in tragic loss of civilian lives and heavy damage to property. At the same time, India is alarmed at the cross-border provocations resulting from rocket attacks against targets in parts of Israel."

    China - Foreign Minister Wang Yi

    "[Israel] should lift its blockade on Gaza, release Palestinian prisoners, [but] at the same time Israel's security concerns must be considered."

    Russia - Foreign Ministry

    "We need to urgently bring an end to the suffering of peaceful Palestinians and Israelis and the destruction of civilian infrastructure ... the scale of the losses and the affliction of the people calls for urgent concerted action by the international community."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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