‘Restraint and Common Sense’: Reaction to Israel’s Gaza Attack | Israel-Palestine conflict news

Written by Javed Iqbal

There were mixed reactions to Israel’s deadly strikes on the Gaza Strip and Palestinian rocket fire in response, with Israel and its allies defending the airstrikes and those supporting the besieged territory condemning the violence.

Below is the global response to Friday’s deadly airstrikes on Gaza:

United Nations

The UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Tor Wennesland, warned that the “dangerous” escalation risked creating a need for more aid at a time when the world’s resources were stretched by other conflicts.

“In the past few hours, at least 10 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli airstrikes. I am deeply saddened by the reports that a five-year-old child has been killed in these strikes. There can be no justification for any attack against civilians,” Wennesland said.

“The firing of rockets must stop immediately and I call on all sides to avoid further escalation.”

United States

John Kirby, the US National Security Council’s strategic communications coordinator, defended Israel’s attack on Gaza and called on both sides to de-escalate the situation.

“We are 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-Israel partnership.”

“We absolutely support Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorist groups that take 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 happen, but both sides have to want it too.”

Smoke rises after Israeli airstrikes on a building in Gaza City on Friday [Hatem Moussa/AP]


Ankara “strongly” condemned the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, saying it was “unacceptable that civilians, including children, are losing their lives in attacks”.

The State Department, in a statement, called for “restraint and common sense” after the deadly attacks on the blockaded enclave.

“We are deeply concerned about the rising tension in the region following the attacks. We emphasize the need to end these events before they develop into a new spiral of conflict,” it said.


Cairo is working to defuse the latest escalation in Gaza. “We hope to reach an agreement to return to calm as soon as possible,” an unnamed security source told the AFP news agency. Separately, another source said an Islamic Jihad delegation may go to Cairo later Saturday.

Hamas’ Doha-based leader Ismail Haniyeh has held talks with “Egyptian intelligence” about the violence, the group said in a statement. Egypt, a historic mediator between Israel and armed groups in Gaza, negotiated the ceasefire that ended the conflict last May.


Qatar – a major financial backer that has spent billions of dollars rebuilding Gaza and supporting its people after Israeli attacks – expressed its “strong condemnation and condemnation” of Friday’s attack. It emphasized “the need for the international community to step in to stop [Israeli] the occupation’s repeated attacks against civilians, especially women and children”.

In a statement on Friday, the Foreign Ministry reiterated: “The State of Qatar’s firm position on the justice of the Palestinian cause, the legitimate rights of the fraternal Palestinian people and the establishment of their independent state at the 1967 border with East Jerusalem as its capital.”


Amman demanded that Israel “immediately stop its aggression” in the Gaza Strip. Spokesman Haitham Abu al-Ful warned of “dangerous” consequences that “will only increase tension and violence and deepen the environment of despair”.

“The solution to the problem of the Gaza Strip and preventing the escalation of violence lies in finding a real political horizon by returning to the negotiating table to achieve a just peace based on the two-state solution,” he said.


Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid vowed in a televised statement to do “whatever it takes to defend our people”.

“Israel conducted a precise counter-terror operation against an immediate threat. Our fight is not with the people of Gaza.

“Islamic Jihad is an Iranian proxy that wants to destroy the state of Israel and kill innocent Israelis. The leader of Islamic Jihad is in Tehran as we speak. We will do everything to defend our people. Israel is not interested in a wider conflict in Gaza, but will not shy away from one either.”

Islamic Jihad

In a statement, Islamic Jihad said: “The enemy has started a war against our people and we all have a duty to defend ourselves and our people and not allow the enemy to get away with its actions which aim to undermine the resistance and the national steadfastness.”


Ghazi Hamad, a senior official for Hamas – the group that controls the Strip – said the latest attack is “a brutal crime, a massacre carried out by the Israeli occupation against our people”.

Palestinian factions are exploring the “best option for the Palestinian people”.

Palestinian Authority

The Palestinian Authority, which governs the occupied West Bank, condemned “the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip and demanded its immediate end”.

“The presidency called on the international community to force Israel to stop this aggression against our people everywhere, especially in Gaza, and to give them international protection,” it said in a statement.

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Javed Iqbal

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