There was a mixed reaction to Israel’s deadly attack on the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian rocket fire in response, with Israel and its allies defending the airstrikes and those supporting the besieged area denouncing the violence.
Below is the global response to Friday’s deadly airstrikes on Gaza:
The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, warned that the “dangerous” escalation would risk requiring more aid at a time when world resources were being depleted by other conflicts.
“At least 10 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli airstrikes in recent hours. I am deeply saddened by reports that a five-year-old child has been killed in these strikes. There can be no justification whatsoever for attacks on civilians,” Wennesland said.
“Missile launches must be stopped immediately and I call on all parties to prevent further escalation.”
John Kirby, coordinator of the US National Security Council for strategic communications, defended Israel’s attack on Gaza and urged both sides to de-escalate the situation.
“We are actively engaged with the Israeli-Palestinian regional partners to work towards greater calm in the wake of these attacks. And we certainly urge all parties to avoid further escalation. We remain unwavering in our commitment to Israel’s security and we will continue to work to strengthen all aspects of the US-Israeli partnership.”
“We fully support Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorist groups that are killing innocent civilians in Israel. On the two-state solution, we remain committed to a two-state solution. That was one of the president’s main messages on this trip, both to Jerusalem and to Bethlehem. We still want this to be the result, but both sides have to want it.”
Ankara “firmly” condemned the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, saying it is “unacceptable that civilians, including children, lose their lives in attacks”.
The State Department urged “restraint and common sense” in a statement following the deadly attacks on the blocked enclave.
“We are deeply concerned about the rising tensions in the region after the attacks. We emphasize the need to end these events before they turn into a new spiral of conflict,” the report said.
Cairo is working to calm the latest escalation in Gaza. “We hope to reach a consensus to calm down as soon as possible,” an anonymous security source told AFP news agency. Separately, another source said an Islamic Jihad delegation could go to Cairo later Saturday.
Doha-based leader Ismail Haniyeh has held talks with “Egyptian intelligence” about the violence, the group said. Egypt, a historic mediator between Israel and armed groups in Gaza, negotiated the ceasefire that ended the conflict in May last year.
Qatar — a major financier that has spent billions of dollars rebuilding Gaza and supporting its people after Israeli attacks — expressed its “strong condemnation and condemnation” of Friday’s attacks. It stressed “the need for the international community to take urgent action to [Israeli] repeated attacks by the occupation on civilians, especially women and children”.
In a statement on Friday, the Foreign Ministry reiterated: “The firm stance of the State of Qatar on the justice of the Palestinian cause, the legitimate rights of the fraternal Palestinian people and the establishment of their independent state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as the 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 environment of despair”.
“The solution to the problem of the Gaza Strip and preventing 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 pledged in a televised statement to do “anything necessary to defend our people”.
“Israel conducted a precise counter-terror operation against an imminent threat. Our struggle 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 currently in Tehran. We will do whatever it takes to defend our people. Israel is not interested in a wider conflict in Gaza, but will not shy away from it.”
Prime Minister Yair Lapid, tonight:
“Israel conducted a precise counter-terror operation against an imminent threat.
Our struggle 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 his actions, which are aimed at are at undermining resistance and national steadfastness.”
Ghazi Hamad, a senior official for Hamas – the group that rules the Strip – said the latest attack is “a brutal crime, a massacre by the Israeli occupation against our people”.
Palestinian factions examine the “best option for the Palestinian people”.
The Palestinian Authority, which governs the occupied West Bank, condemned “Israeli aggression on 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, especially in Gaza, and provide them with international protection,” it said in a statement.