Countries around the world have condemned a series of Palestinian attacks which, according to Israel’s army, have claimed at least 200 lives.
Some countries have called for the conflict to de-escalate after Israel launched airstrikes and other military operations against Gaza. Palestinian authorities said at least 230 people were killed.
“We are at war,” Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said as he promised severe retaliation after Hamas’s surprise attack.
Here are a few responses:
Pres. Joe Biden said America’s support for Israel is “steadfast and unwavering”. “The US stands with Israel,” Biden said in a live statement at the White House. Antony Blinken, America’s Secretary of State, stood next to him.
“We will not fail to support them.”
A White House official said discussions with Israel about military assistance “are already underway.”
A senior adviser to Iran’s leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expressed support for the Palestinian attack, calling it a “proud operation”.
“We support this operation,” Yahya Rahim Safavi said, according to the Isna news agency.
Safavi pledged support for the Palestinian militants “until the liberation of Palestine and Jerusalem”.
Lawmakers in Iran chanted “Israel must fall”, “America must fall” and “Welcome Palestine” during a parliamentary session on Saturday, according to a video published by the Tasnim news agency.
“The kingdom requests an immediate suspension of the escalation between the two sides, the protection of civilian citizens and self-control,” Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry said.
“The kingdom recalls its repeated warnings of the dangers of an explosive situation as a result of the continued occupation and deprivation of the Palestinian people of their legitimate rights.”
Volker Turk, the UN’s head of human rights, said: “I call for an immediate end to the violence and call on all sides and key countries in the region to de-escalate to prevent further bloodshed.”
He is “very concerned” about reports that Israeli civilians have been taken hostage by Hamas.
Ursula von der Leyen, head of the EU, said: “I unequivocally condemn the attack by Hamas terrorists against Israel.”
“This is terrorism in its most despicable form. Israel has the right to defend itself against such heinous attacks.”
Josep Borrell, head of foreign policy, said “this terrible violence must stop immediately”. “Terrorism and violence solve nothing. The EU emphasizes its solidarity with Israel in these difficult times.”
He also expressed his shock at news that civilians were taken hostage in their homes or to Gaza. “This is against international law. The hostages must be released immediately.”
Brazil, which currently holds the presidency of the UN Security Council, condemned the attacks on Israel.
A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged all parties “to exercise maximum restraint to prevent the situation from escalating”.
The country said shortly afterwards that it would convene an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on the crisis. The council has announced that they will meet on Sunday.
China said it was “deeply concerned” about the weekend’s dramatic escalation of violence between Israel and the Palestinians and urged all sides to remain “calm”.
“China is very concerned about the current escalation of tension and violence between Palestine and Israel,” the foreign ministry said. “We call on all parties to remain calm and exercise restraint, to establish an immediate ceasefire, protect civilians and prevent the situation from deteriorating further.”
Russia’s foreign ministry requested “an immediate ceasefire”.
“We call on Palestine and Israel to immediately cease fire, to renounce violence, to show the necessary restraint and – with the help of the international community – to establish a negotiation process to achieve a comprehensive, long-lasting and long-awaited achieve peace,” spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
Volodymyr Zelenski, whose country is currently resisting a Russian invasion, said Israel has an “irrefutable right” to defend itself.
“Terror is always a crime, not just against one country or specific victims, but against humanity as a whole.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Israel and the Palestinians to prevent further escalation.
“We invite all parties to act reasonably and stay away from impulsive actions that could increase tensions,” said Erdogan, who supports the Palestinians.
France expressed “full solidarity with Israel and the victims” and emphasized its “absolute rejection of terror and commitment to Israel’s security”.
President Emmanuel Macron said he “strongly condemns the attacks”.
Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Israel “has our full solidarity” and “the right, guaranteed by international law, to defend itself against terror”.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was “shocked” by the attacks.
“Israel has an absolute right to defend itself,” he said. He later made a post on X (Twitter): “As the barbarism of today’s atrocities became clearer, we stand steadfastly with Israel. The attack by Hamas is cowardly.”
Japan “strongly” condemns the cross-border attacks, Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa said.
She also condemned the kidnapping of a number of Israeli citizens.
“Meanwhile, we are very concerned about the large number of victims in the Gaza Strip as a result of the attacks by the Israeli army. Japan again requests that the parties exercise extreme restraint to prevent further damage.”
South Africa’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its “serious concern” about the “recent devastating escalation in the Israel-Palestine conflict”. “The region desperately needs a credible peace process that complies with the series of previous UN resolutions for a two-state solution and a just and comprehensive peace between Israel and Palestine.”
Emma Powell, the DA’s shadow minister for international relations and cooperation, meanwhile condemned Hamas’s attack.
The DA requests South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation to irrefutably condemn the attack and join the international community in their requests for an immediate end to the rapidly escalating violence.
Kenneth Meshoe, president of the ACDP, also expressed his shock at the attacks by Hamas on Israel. “The ACDP strongly condemns the unsolicited attacks. Israel has the right to defend itself and must do everything in its power to defend itself and protect its citizens from such indiscriminate and violent attacks.”
Meshoe is also concerned about reports that Israeli citizens have been taken hostage by Hamas.
“We call on South African and world leaders to condemn the attacks and demand that the Israeli hostages be released immediately. We also call on all South Africans to pray for the innocent victims and their families and to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his country stands “in solidarity with Israel in this difficult hour”. “I am deeply shocked by the news of terrorist attacks in Israel,” Modi said.
Venezuela’s government also expressed “deep concern” over the conflict.
In a statement on X (Twitter), the government said the conflict is “the result of the inability of the Palestinian people to find a space within multilateral international law to exercise their historical right”.
In Yemen, Houthi rebels, who control the capital Sanaa, expressed their support for “the heroic jihad operation”.
In a statement on the website of the Houthi-controlled Saba news agency, the militant group said the attack revealed “the weakness, fragility and impotence” of Israel.
The group added that the operation was “a battle for dignity, pride and defence”.