The raging conflict between Israel and Gaza has elicited wide-ranging response internationally.
Concerned that the region’s worst hostilities in years could spiral out of control, United States President Joe Biden has called for a de-escalation of the violence, saying he wanted to see a significant reduction in Gaza rocket attacks. He has also sent the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the State Department Hady Amr to meet with both sides.
Truce efforts by Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations have so far failed to yield any sign of progress.
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will publicly discuss the worsening violence between Israel and Gaza on Sunday, due to what diplomats said were objections from the US, a close ally of Israel, to the request by China, Norway and Tunisia for the holding of the public, virtual UNSC session.
After the postponement, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield tweeted: “The U.S. will continue to actively engage in diplomacy at the highest levels to try to de-escalate tensions.” That statement was echoed by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who told reporters such a meeting would be better next week to allow time for diplomacy in hopes of achieving a de-escalation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed in a video call for an end to the fighting.
According to a statement from the Kremlin, “The main goal is to stop violent acts from both sides and ensure the safety of the civilian population.”
French President Emmanuel Macron also urged a “definite reset” of negotiations between the two sides, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for an “urgent de-escalation” of violence.
The Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has warned that individuals involved in the current round of Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed may be targeted by an investigation that is now under way into alleged war crimes in earlier bouts of the conflict.
“This is just to alert people on all sides not to escalate, to be careful to avoid taking actions that will result in the commission of (war) crimes,” the ICC’s Fatou Bensouda told Reuters, saying, “These are events that we are looking at very seriously.”
She went on to reaffirm the pressing ahead of her inquiry into the 2014 Israel-Gaza War even without the cooperation of Jerusalem – which accuses her office of anti-Semitic bias, and like its closest ally the US, rejects ICC jurisdiction into the matter.
Arab and Muslim countries have uniformly condemned Israel for its defensive actions.
The Arab League – whose 22 member states include several Abraham Accord peace partners with Israel – has accused the Jewish State of committing “indiscriminate and irresponsible” attacks in Gaza, and asserted that it is responsible for what it called the “dangerous escalation” in Jerusalem.
Iraq Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi telephoned Palestinian Pres Mahmoud Abbas to reaffirm his nation’s support of the Palestinian cause, and strongly condemns the Israeli attacks.
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement on Twitter, condemning “in the strongest terms the blatant attack carried out by the Israeli occupation forces against the sanctity of #Al AqsaMosque, and for the security and safety of worshippers.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who called Israel a “terror state” last Saturday, discussed the Gaza conflict in a telephone call with his Russian counterpart on Wednesday.
According to a statement from his office, Erdoğan told Putin that the international community needs to “teach a deterrent lesson” to Israel, adding that Ankara is working to mobilize this reaction. Turkey has renewed its call since 2018 for the deployment of international peacekeepers to the region ‘to help safeguard Palestinians.’
Meanwhile 3 rockets fired from southern Lebanon into northern Israel today, although they inadvertently slammed into the Mediterranean Sea. The Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group which operates in the area has so far declined to comment, although a source close to Israel’s arch-foe claimed the Lebanese Shiite group was not involved in the attack. Lebanese security forces said that the rockets were fired from the Palestinian Rashidiyeh refugee camp, where 3 more unfired missiles were discovered. The IDF confirmed that “three rockets were fired from Lebanon into the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of the Galilee,” and has so far not retaliated for the incident.
A number of demonstrations have been staged abroad, including the United States.
Police were called to separate pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel activists who clashed outside the Israeli Consulate in New York City on Wednesday.