There was a mixed reaction to Israel’s deadly attack on the Gaza Strip and Palestinian rocket fire in response, with Israel and its allies defending the airstrikes and those supporting the besieged territory decrying the violence.
Below is the global reaction to Friday’s deadly airstrikes in Gaza:
The UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Tor Wennesland, warned that the “dangerous” escalation could create the need for more aid at a time when world resources have been affected by other conflicts.
“In the last few hours, at least 10 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli airstrikes. I am deeply saddened by reports that a five-year-old boy has been killed in these attacks. There can be no justification for any attack on civilians,” Wennesland said.
“The rocket fire must cease immediately, and I call on all parties to prevent further escalation.”
John Kirby, strategic communications coordinator for the US National Security Council, defended Israel’s attack on Gaza and urged both sides to de-escalate the situation.
“We are actively engaged with Israeli and Palestinian regional partners to work towards greater calm after these attacks. And we certainly urge all parties to avoid further escalation. We remain steadfast in our commitment to Israel’s security and will continue to work to strengthen all aspects of the US-Israeli partnership.”
“We fully support Israel’s right to defend itself from terrorist groups that are taking the lives of innocent civilians in Israel. On the two-state solution, we remain committed to a two-state solution. That was one of the president’s key messages on this trip, both to Jerusalem and Bethlehem. We still want to see that be the result, but both sides have to want that too.”
Ankara “strongly” condemned the Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, saying it was “unacceptable that civilians, including children, lose their lives in the strikes.”
The Foreign Ministry in a statement urged “restraint and common sense” following the deadly attacks on the blockaded enclave.
“We are deeply concerned about the increased tension in the region after the attacks. We emphasize the need to put an end to these events before they escalate into a new spiral of conflict,” he said.
Cairo is working to defuse the latest escalation in Gaza. “We hope to reach a consensus to return to calm as soon as possible,” an unnamed security source told the AFP news agency. Separately, another source said an Islamic Jihad delegation could head to Cairo later on Saturday.
Doha-based Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has held talks with “Egyptian intelligence” about the violence, according to a statement from the group. Egypt, a historical intermediary between Israel and the armed groups in Gaza, negotiated the ceasefire that ended the conflict in May last year.
Qatar, a major financial backer that has spent billions of dollars rebuilding Gaza and supporting its people after the Israeli strikes, expressed its “strong condemnation and denunciation” of Friday’s attacks. He emphasized “the need for the international community to act urgently to stop the [Israeli] the repeated attacks of the occupation against civilians, especially women and children”.
In a statement on Friday, the Foreign Ministry reiterated: “The firm position of the State of Qatar on the justice of the Palestinian cause, the legitimate rights of the brotherly Palestinian people and the establishment of its independent state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
Amman demanded that Israel “immediately stop its aggression” in the Gaza Strip. Spokesman Haitham Abu al-Ful warned of “dangerous” consequences that “will only increase tension and violence and deepen the atmosphere of despair.”
“The solution to the problem of the Gaza Strip and avoiding the escalation of violence lies in finding a real political horizon by returning to the negotiating table to achieve a just peace based on the two-state solution,” he said.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid in a televised statement pledged to do “whatever is necessary to defend our people.”
“Israel carried out a precise counter-terrorism operation against an immediate threat. Our fight is not with the people of Gaza.
“Islamic Jihad is an Iranian proxy that wants to destroy the State of Israel and kill innocent Israelis. The head of Islamic Jihad is in Tehran as we speak. We will do whatever it takes to defend our people. Israel is not interested in a wider conflict in Gaza, but it will not be scared either.”
Prime Minister Yair Lapid, this afternoon:
“Israel carried out a precise counter-terrorism operation against an immediate threat.
Our fight is not with the people of Gaza. https://t.co/N5XU4nru0i pic.twitter.com/zx4wVOmxWe
— Prime Minister of Israel (@IsraeliPM) August 5, 2022
In a statement, Islamic Jihad said: “The enemy has started a war against our people, and we all have a duty to defend ourselves and our people, and not allow the enemy to get away with their actions, which They are aimed at undermining the resistance and national steadfastness.”
Ghazi Hamad, a senior official from Hamas, the group that rules the Strip, said the latest attack is “a brutal crime, a massacre committed by the Israeli occupation against our people.”
Palestinian factions are exploring the “best option for the Palestinian people.”
The Palestinian Authority, which rules the occupied West Bank, condemned “Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip and demanded its immediate cessation.”
“The presidency called on the international community to force Israel to stop this aggression against our people everywhere, particularly in Gaza, and to provide them with international protection,” it said in a statement.