Russia and China refuse to condemn Hamas atrocity: As Western nations express anger at terror group, Moscow and Beijing only comment on violence…as Iran praises Israel horror
- Several countries have sat on the fence about the ongoing violence in Israel and Palestine
- The West has largely backed Israel, which was attacked on Saturday
- But much of the Arab world has supported Hamas and Palestine
- Israel Palestine war LIVE: Jewish state prepares massive ground offensive
The third day of violence in the Middle East has begun, but while many nations have condemned Hamas’ attacks on Israel, many countries, including China and Russia, have sat on the fence.
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
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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
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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
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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.
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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.
The Israel-Palestine conflict: recent events in a decades-long dispute
The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas launched its biggest assault on Israel in years early on Saturday, firing a barrage of rockets from Gaza and sending fighters across the border.
Israel said it was on a war footing and began its own strikes against Hamas targets in Gaza, with Israeli media reporting gun battles between bands of Palestinian fighters and security forces in southern Israel.
The following timeline, which begins with Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, details the major flare-ups in the conflict between Israel and Palestinian groups in the crowded coastal enclave, which is home to 2.3 million people.
August 2005: Israeli forces unilaterally withdraw from Gaza 38 years after capturing it from Egypt in the Middle East war, abandoning settlements and leaving the enclave under the control of the Palestinian Authority.
Jan. 25, 2006: The Islamist group Hamas wins a majority of seats in a Palestinian legislative election. Israel and the U.S. cut off aid to Palestinians because Hamas refuses to renounce violence and recognise Israel.
June 25, 2006: Hamas militants capture Israeli army conscript Gilad Shalit in a cross-border raid from Gaza, prompting Israeli air strikes and incursions. Shalit is finally freed more than five years later in a prisoner exchange.
June 14, 2007: Hamas takes over Gaza in a brief civil war, ousting Fatah forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is based in the West Bank.
Dec. 27, 2008: Israel launches a 22-day military offensive in Gaza after Palestinians fire rockets at the southern Israeli town of Sderot. About 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis are reported killed before a ceasefire is agreed.
Nov. 14, 2012: Israel kills Hamas’s military chief of staff, Ahmad Jabari. Eight days of Palestinian militant rocket fire and Israeli air strikes follow.
July-August 2014: The kidnap and killing of three Israeli teenagers by Hamas leads to a seven-week war in which more than 2,100 Palestinians are reported killed in Gaza and 73 Israelis are reported dead, 67 of them military.
March 2018: Palestinian protests begin at Gaza’s fenced border with Israel. Israeli troops open fire to keep protestors back. More than 170 Palestinians are reported killed in several months of protests, which also prompt fighting between Hamas and Israeli forces.
May 2021: After weeks of tension during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, hundreds of Palestinians are wounded in clashes with Israeli security forces at the Al Aqsa compound in Jerusalem, Islam’s third holiest site.
After demanding Israel withdraw security forces from the compound, Hamas unleashes a barrage of rockets from Gaza into Israel. Israel hits back with air strikes on Gaza. Fighting goes on for 11 days, killing at least 250 people in Gaza and 13 in Israel.
Aug 2022: At least 44 people, including 15 children, are killed in three days of violence that begin when Israeli air strikes hit a senior Islamic Jihad commander.
Israel says the strikes were a pre-emptive operation against an imminent attack by the Iranian-backed militant movement, targeting commanders and arms depots. In response, Islamic Jihad fires more than 1,000 rockets towards Israel. Israel’s Iron Dome air defence system prevents any serious damage or casualties.
Jan 2023: Islamic Jihad in Gaza fires two rockets towards Israel after Israeli troops raid a refugee camp and kill seven Palestinian gunmen and two civilians. The rockets set off alarms in Israeli communities near the border but cause no casualties. Israel responds with air strikes on Gaza.
Oct 2023: Hamas launches the biggest attack on Israel in years from the Gaza Strip, with a surprise assault combining gunmen crossing the border with a heavy barrage of rockets. Islamic Jihad says its fighters have joined the attack.
Israel’s military said it was on a war footing, adding it had carried out strikes targeting Hamas in Gaza and had called up reservists.
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