Gaza, Europe Brief News – Israel’s attack on Gaza has triggered global calls for de-escalation in the besieged Gaza Strip.
“The European Union follows with great concern the latest developments in and around Gaza,” a spokesman for the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.
“The EU calls for maximum restraint on all sides… While Israel has the right to protect its civilian population, everything must be done to prevent a broader conflict.”
The UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Tor Wennesland, warned the “dangerous” escalation risked creating the need for more aid at a time when world resources were stretched by other conflicts.
“In the past few hours, at least 10 Palestinians were killed by Israeli air strikes. I am deeply saddened by reports that a five-year-old child has been killed in these strikes. There can be no justification for any attacks against civilians,” said Wennesland.
John Kirby, US National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, defended Israel’s attack on Gaza and urged both sides to de-escalate the situation.
“We’re actively engaged with the Israeli-Palestinian regional partners to work towards achieving more calm in the wake of these strikes. And we certainly urge all sides 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 absolutely fully support Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorist groups that are taking the lives of innocent civilians in Israel. As for 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 outcome, but both sides have to want it too.”
Russia, whose ties with Israel have been tested by Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, appeared to pin initial blame on the Israelis.
“We are observing with profound worry how events are evolving,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, adding that Moscow was calling “on all the parties involved to show maximum restraint”.
“The new escalation was caused by Israeli army firing into the Gaza Strip on 5 August, to which Palestinian groups responded by carrying out massive and indiscriminate bombardments on Israeli territory,” she said.
Britain pressed for a quick end to the violence in Gaza. “The UK stands by Israel and its right to defend itself,” Foreign Secretary Liz Truss tweeted. “We condemn terrorist groups firing at civilians and violence, which has resulted in casualties on both sides. We call for a swift end to the violence.”