Reactions from countries around the world poured in after Hamas launched a surprise attack against Israel, which responded by declaring war against the Palestinian resistance group
Qatar’s foreign ministry issued a statement on Saturday saying that Israel alone was responsible for the ongoing escalation of violence with the Palestinian people.
It said Qatar calls on both sides to exercise utmost restraint and calls on the international community to prevent Israel from using these events as an excuse to launch a disproportionate war against Palestinian civilians in Gaza.
Kuwait urged the U.N. Security Council to assume responsibility regarding the ongoing escalation in Gaza between Israel and Palestinian groups.
The Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry in a statement voiced deep concern at the escalation in Gaza and the Palestinian territories “as a result of the [Israeli] occupation’s blatant violations.”
It urged the international community to safeguard the Palestinian people and to “stop the provocative practices by the [Israeli] occupation.”
The ministry also warned that the continuation of violence would “jeopardize the efforts aimed at establishing peace and attaining the two-state solution.”
The U.N. Middle East peace envoy Tor Wennesland said: “This is a dangerous precipice, and I appeal to all to pull back from the brink.”
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk said: “This attack is having a horrific impact on Israeli civilians… Civilians must never be the target of attack.”
Gaza Strip’s Health Ministry announced that at least 198 Palestinians were killed, and 1,600 others were wounded after Israel’s attacks.
Israeli authorities said 100 people have been killed and about 900 injured in Israel following large-scale attacks from the Gaza Strip.
Palestine’s President Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinian people have the right to defend themselves against the “terror of settlers and occupation troops,” the official news agency WAFA quoted Abbas as saying.
The White House National Security spokesperson said the U.S. “unequivocally condemns” the attacks and stands with Israel, broadcaster CNN reported.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said: “Over the coming days the Department of Defense will work to ensure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself and protect civilians from indiscriminate violence and terrorism.”
An adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei congratulated Palestinian fighters, the semi-official ISNA news site reported. “We will stand by the Palestinian fighters until the liberation of Palestine and Jerusalem,” it quoted Yahya Rahim Safavi as saying.
Iran’s state television showed parliament members rising from their seats to chant “Death to Israel.”
Iran’s foreign ministry said attacks by its ally Hamas on Saturday were proof of the Palestinians’ increased confidence in the face of Israel, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.
“In this operation, the element of surprise and other combined methods were used, which show the Palestinian people’s confidence in the face of the occupiers,” ISNA quoted ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani as telling the agency in an interview.
The attacks “proved that the Zionist regime is more vulnerable than ever and that the initiative is in the hands of Palestinian youth,” government spokesperson Ali Bahadori-Jahromi told state news agency IRNA.
Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz said they are deeply shocked by the rocket fire from Gaza and the escalating violence. He said Germany stands by Israel.
French President Emmanuel Macron also pledged solidarity with Israel as he condemned the attacks.
“I express my full solidarity with the victims, and their families and those close to them,” he said.
Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry called for an “immediate cessation of violence,” while Egypt warned of “grave consequences” and called for “exercising maximum restraint and avoiding exposing civilians to further danger.”
British Foreign Minister James Cleverly also condemned Hamas’ attacks and said the “U.K. will fully support Israel.”
The European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said: “We unequivocally condemn the attacks by Hamas. This horrific violence must stop immediately.”
Türkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called on both Israelis and Palestinians to act with restraint in light of Saturday’s events.
“Türkiye will continue to oppose any attempt against the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” the Turkish president added.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said Moscow is in contact with Israel, the Palestinians and Arab countries in connection with the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as he urged restraint.
The Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah, an arch-foe of Israel, said it was in “direct contact with the leadership of the Palestinian resistance” and described events as a “decisive response to Israel’s continued occupation and a message to those seeking normalization with Israel.”
The Italian Prime Minister’s Office said the government is closely following the recent incidents, saying that Rome supports Israel’s right to defend itself.”
The United Arab Emirates also called for restraint.
“The UAE calls for the exercise of maximum restraint and an immediate ceasefire to avoid serious repercussions,” the official news agency quoted the foreign ministry as saying.
UN Security Council to meet Sunday
The United Nations Security Council is due to meet on Sunday after the escalatıon of violence.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the attack by Hamas and urged “all diplomatic efforts to avoid a wider conflagration, U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.
“The Secretary-General is deeply concerned for the civilian population and urges maximum restraint. Civilians must be respected and protected in accordance with international humanitarian law at all times,” Dujarric said.