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US, UK urge restraint while Muslim nations, Russia condemn Israeli airstrikes in Gaza

World reacts to flare up between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad

Palestinians gather at the scene where senior commander of Islamic Jihad militant group Khaled Mansour was killed in Israeli strikes, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, August 7, 2022. (Photo: Attia Muhammed/Flash90

The international community reacted to recent fighting with the Arab world generally condemning Israeli airstrikes on Palestinian Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip and the West urging calm while supporting Israel's right to defend itself against rocket attacks.

The United States State Department and the United Kingdom both expressed support for Israel’s right to defend itself. However, the U.S. urged “all sides” to avoid further escalation, while the U.K. called for an “end to violence.”

“We condemn terrorist groups firing at civilians and violence, which has resulted in casualties on both sides,” U.K. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said on social media over the weekend.

But even Russia, which launched its ongoing assault on Ukraine in February, lined up to blame Israel. Moscow expressed “worry” over Israel’s bombardments of the Islamic terrorist group and called “on all the parties involved to show maximum restraint.”

“We are observing with profound worry how events are evolving,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement. “The new escalation was caused by the Israeli army firing into the Gaza Strip on Aug. 5, to which Palestinian groups responded by carrying out massive and indiscriminate bombardments on Israeli territory.”

The European Union also expressed “great concern” and a call for “maximum restraint.”

“The E.U. follows with great concern the latest developments in and around Gaza,” a spokesman for E.U.’s Foreign Policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement. “The E.U. calls for maximum restraint on all sides in order to avoid a further escalation and further casualties.”

“While Israel has the right to protect its civilian population, everything must be done to prevent a broader conflict, which would, first and foremost, affect the civilian populations on both sides and result in further casualties and more suffering,” the E.U. spokesman said. 

Several Arab countries and organizations promptly blasted Israel, among them Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

A statement by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs “expressed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s condemnation and denunciation of the attack carried out by the Israeli occupation forces on the Gaza Strip,” the Saudi Press Agency reported

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi condemned Israel’s operation in Gaza as an “aggression,” while warning that Israeli “provocations” should be prevented at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. 

Jordan condemned what it called “the ongoing Israeli violations at al-Aqsa Mosque,” claiming that these included “allowing extremist settlers and a Knesset member to storm the compound, under the protection of Israeli police.” Jordan urged the international community to take “urgent and effective” action to stop the escalation and provide protection to the Palestinian people.

Turkey “strongly” condemned Israel and said it is “unacceptable that civilians, including children, lose their lives in attacks,” with the foreign ministry urging “restraint and common sense.”

Where the Israel Defense Forces has a policy to avoid civilian deaths and aborted missions when seeing civilians in the vicinity, the Palestinian media has falsely attributed several civilian deaths from misfired Palestinian Islamic Jihad rockets to Israeli airstrikes.

Most large Muslim and Arab organizations denounced Israel’s actions in Gaza and urged immediate international intervention. 

The League of Arab States condemned “in the strongest terms the brutal aggression on the Gaza Strip” and said they were holding Israel “fully responsible for this aggression and its repercussions and for the heinous bloody crimes it continues to commit, which require international accountability before the competent international justice bodies.”

The Gulf Cooperation Council secretary general said they “condemned the military aggression of the brutal Israeli occupation forces on the Gaza Strip, which resulted in a number of Palestinian martyrs and wounded.” 

The Muslim World League “condemned the Israeli occupation forces’ attack on the Gaza Strip, which caused heavy losses among innocent civilians,” urging the international community to “intervene quickly to prevent this continuous and dangerous escalation.”

The United Nations Security Council will be holding an emergency closed-door meeting on Monday to discuss the situation in Gaza, Palestinian envoy to the U.N. Riyad Mansour said in a statement. UAE Foreign Ministry strategic communications director Afra al-Hameli said in a statement that the meeting had been requested by the UAE, China, France, Ireland and Norway.

“The United Arab Emirates has emphasized the need to restore calm to the Gaza Strip, reduce escalation and preserve civilian lives,” she said, adding that Abu Dhabi “expresses its deep concern over the current escalation and calls for exercising maximum restraint, to prevent being drawn into new levels of violence and instability.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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