So far, more than 700 Israelis have been killed since Hamas launched its large-scale attack over the weekend, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said on Monday. Another 1,200 people have been wounded, many critically.
Several nations, including Iran and Algeria, have backed Hamas following Saturday morning’s attack on Israeli citizens, but others declined to condemn the violence in the region, instead choosing to wait and see how the bloodiest conflict between Israel and Palestine in half a century will play out.
The US has unequivocally condemned the attack on Israel, with its defence secretary Lloyd Austin announcing late on Sunday night that he was sending several American military ships to the eastern Mediterranean in response to Hamas’ attack.
America is sending the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group, which includes the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier, the largest warship in the world, as well as five more ships.
Much of the world has already commented on the ongoing violence in the region
But China and Russia have sat firmly on the fence for this deadly conflict.
China’s foreign ministry urged the ‘relevant parties’ to remain calm and immediately end hostilities to protect civilians, adding that ‘the fundamental way out of the conflict lies in implementing the two-state solution and establishing an independent State of Palestine’.
This response caught the ire of Israel, with Yuval Waks, a senior official at the Israeli embassy in Beijing, saying: ‘When people are being murdered, slaughtered in the streets, this is not the time to call for a two-state solution.’
Russia also put at a similarly mild statement, with Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova saying hours after the initial attack:
‘We call on the Palestinian and Israeli sides to implement an immediate ceasefire, renounce violence, exercise the necessary restraint and establish, with the assistance of the international community, a negotiation process aimed at establishing a comprehensive, lasting and long-awaited peace in the Middle East.’
Hamas claimed to have fired 5,000 rockets into Israel from the occupied Gaza Strip, setting off air raid sirens in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem
Fire and smoke rise following an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City on Sunday after the militant Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip carried out an unprecedented, multi-front attack on Israel
Smoke and flames billow after Israeli forces struck a high-rise tower in Gaza City, October 7
Fire and smoke rise in Gaza City following an Israeli airstrike on Sunday October 8
Dozens of rockets are fired by Palestinians towards Israel on Saturday night
A man runs in the road as fires burn in Ashkelon, Israel, following rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip initiated by Islamic militant group Hamas
Smoke rises after an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, Gaza, in the early hours of Monday
Russia is currently engaged in its own bloody conflict with Ukraine, which stated its support for Israel on Saturday.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said: ‘We in Ukraine have a special feeling about what has happened. Thousands of rockets in the Israeli sky… People killed just on the streets… Civilian cars shot through… Detainees being humiliated.
‘Our position is crystal clear: anyone who causes terror and death anywhere on the planet must be held accountable.
‘Today’s terrorist attack on Israel was well-planned, and the entire world knows which sponsors of terrorism could have endorsed and enabled its organization.’
Europe followed suit, and many EU members stated their support for Israel, including France, Germany, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Greece, Spain, Italy, Poland, Ireland, and the Netherlands.
Also in support of Israel were several Nordic nations, with Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden all condemning Hamas’ attack on Israel.
Elsewhere in the world, Australia, the UK, Canada and India all vocalised their support for Israel.
Brazil, which currently chairs the Security Council at the UN appeared to sit firmly on Israel’s side, with its foreign ministry saying in a statement that it condemned the ‘series of bombings and ground attacks carried out in Israel starting from the Gaza Strip.’
Shocking footage shared on social media appears to show Palestinian fighters parading Shani’s naked body on the back of a pick-up truck
Israeli soldiers are pictured at the southern Israeli town of Ofakim on Sunday
While much of the West and several other key international players condemned the attack on Israel, many Arab nations openly supported Hamas’ attack on Saturday.
Algeria’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Saturday: ‘Algeria strongly condemns the brutal air strikes by the Zionist [Israeli] occupation forces in the Gaza Strip, and which caused many casualties, including children and women.
The ministry reiterated the country’s ‘full solidarity with the Palestinian people,’ and called on the international community, including the UN Security Council, ‘to take an urgent action to end the repeated and systematic criminal attacks.’
Iran agreed with Algeria, with its foreign ministry stating on Saturday: ‘This operation… is the spontaneous movement of resistance groups and Palestine’s oppressed people in defence of their inalienable rights and their natural reaction to the Zionists’ warmongering and provocative policies.’
Palestinians are greeted by crowds after returning from crossing the border into Israel on Saturday
A man carries a crying child as they walk past a building destroyed by an Israeli air strike in Gaza City on Saturday
Several other Arab nations, including Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Egypt, and Qatar, made statements of support for Hamas and Palestine.
Elsewhere in the world, Venezuela and Djibouti stood in solidarity with Palestine.
Though some Arab countries have come out in support of Palestine and Hamas, some have refused to be drawn into the conflict.
Jordan’s King Abdullah stressed the need to find a just solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and said cooperation between Jordan and the EU was vital to achieving peace in the region.
Morocco’s foreign ministry said it held ‘deep concern over the deterioration of the situation and the outbreak of military operations in the Gaza strip.’
It also condemned the targeting of civilians ‘from any side.’
Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain all called for de-escalation from both Israel and Palestine.
Several Asian and African countries, including Kenya, Uganda, Vietnam and Thailand, also called for the conflict to die down.
In Europe, Turkey and Bulgaria sat on the fence and chose not to condemn either side.
Shocking footage from the aftermath of the attack shows festival tents empty, with abandoned cars of those trying to escape strewn on the side of the road
The Israeli army said Monday it hit more than 500 targets in the Gaza Strip in overnight retaliatory strikes on the impoverished and blockaded Gaza Strip, an enclave of 2.3 million people, with officials there reporting at least 413 Palestinian deaths.
‘Overnight IDF fighter jets, helicopters, aircraft and artillery struck over 500 Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip,’ the military said in a statement.
Thick plumes of smoke billowed from the Palestinian enclave as the strikes continued in the early hours of the morning.
The death toll from this new war is already well above 1,100.
On the ground, thousands of Israeli soldiers are preparing to launch a massive ground assault to destroy Hamas fighters and infrastructure in Gaza that will see fighting erupt in the streets.
But in the meantime, Israel may choose to carry out small special-forces operations whereby they target high-profile Hamas terrorists.
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