World leaders condemn Hamas for ‘brutal’ attacks on Israel

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World leaders on Saturday condemned attacks by the Palestinian group Hamas on Israel and called for an immediate stop to the violence.

It came as Hamas said it had fired 5,000 rockets into Israel to begin “Operation Al-Aqsa Storm”; a new military operation against Israel.

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The European Union released a statement saying it “unequivocally” condemned the attacks.

“We follow with anguish the news coming from #Israel. We unequivocally condemn the attacks by Hamas. This horrific violence must stop immediately. Terrorism and violence solve nothing. The EU expresses its solidarity with Israel in these difficult moments,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.

Italy said Saturday it backed “Israel’s right to defend itself” against the “brutal attack” underway after hundreds of rockets were fired on its territory from Gaza.

The government said it “condemns in the strongest terms the terror and the violence underway against innocent civilians”, adding: “We back the right of Israel to defend itself”.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said the county also “unequivocally condemns” the attack.

“The UK unequivocally condemns the horrific attacks by Hamas on Israeli civilians. The UK will always support Israel’s right to defend itself,” Cleverly said in a post on social media.

Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock echoed the comments.

Israel “has our full solidarity” and “the right, guaranteed by international law, to defend itself against terrorism”, Baerbock said on social media.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday said he “strongly condemns the terrorist attacks that are currently striking Israel.”

“I express my full solidarity with the victims, their families and their loved ones,” he said.

The foreign ministry meanwhile said France “reaffirms its absolute rejection of terrorism and its commitment to Israel’s security.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday called on Israelis and Palestinians to act with restraint and refrain from hostile acts that could exacerbate the situation.

“We call for restraint from all parties,” Erdogan said at a congress for his ruling AK Party in Ankara. “They must refrain from aggressive acts,” he said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also condemned what he called a “terrorist attack” on Israel after a surprise assault by Hamas and backed the country’s right to self-defense.

“Anyone who resorts to terror commits a crime against the world. Whoever finances terror is committing a crime against the world,” he wrote on the social media platform X.

Meanwhile, Russia called for Israeli and Palestinian forces to stop armed hostilities.

“We call on the Palestinian and Israeli sides to immediately ceasefire, renounce violence and show the necessary restraint,” Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip on Saturday carried out what appeared to be an unprecedented infiltration into southern Israel, prompting Israel to order residents across the region to remain indoors.

The rocket fire comes during a period of heavy fighting in the West Bank, where nearly 200 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli military raids this year. Israel says the raids are aimed at militants, but stone-throwing protesters and people uninvolved in the violence have also been killed. Palestinian attacks on Israeli targets have killed over 30 people.

The tensions have also spread to Gaza, where Hamas-linked activists held violent demonstrations along the Israeli border in recent weeks. Those demonstrations were halted in late September after international mediation.

With agencies

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