‘Just struggle’: Countries criticise Israeli atrocities in Gaza

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The international community has been divided over the past week with its support for Israel and Palestine in the ongoing conflict.

Tensions escalated in the region following Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel more than a week ago. Following this, Israel declared war and has carried out brutal air attacks on the besieged enclave as casualties continue to mount. There have been multiple attacks on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank as well.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a siege on Gaza, cutting off essential resources like water and electricity and giving a 24-hour evacuation notice to over a million residents.

While a majority of the world condemns Hamas’s actions and supports Israel in its war crimes, some countries have criticised Israel’s barbaric actions and called for a ceasefire — some more directly than others.

Algeria

The Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed deep concern over Israel’s attacks on Gaza and called them out for violations of international humanitarian laws. Algeria has called for immediate international intervention to protect the Palestinian people and their rights.

African Union

Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Chairperson of the African Union, recognised the denial of fundamental rights for Palestinians as the primary source of current tensions. The AU is appealing to both parties to cease military hostilities and return to negotiations.

Belize

Belize voiced its distress over the hostilities between Hamas and Israel and is calling for an immediate de-escalation. They support the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and advocate for the right of return for displaced Palestinians.

Brazil

Brazil’s Foreign Minister, Mauro Luiz Iecker Vieira, expressed dismay at Israeli forces’ call for the evacuation of over a million civilians in northern Gaza within 24 hours. He referred to the UN’s assessment that such a mass movement of people could result in unprecedented suffering, urging an end to violence from both sides.

Colombia

President Gustavo Petro of Colombia expelled the Israeli ambassador and asked him to “apologize and leave the country.”

In a statement on X, the president said, “If we have to suspend foreign relations with Israel, we will suspend them. We do not support genocides. The president of Colombia will not be insulted.”

Colombia had earlier emphasized the need for Israel and Palestine to engage in negotiations toward a “two-state solution.”

Cuba

Cuba condemns the violence in Palestine and calls out Israel for the prolonged violation of Palestinian rights.

Indonesia

Indonesia is calling for an immediate end to violence to prevent further casualties and states that the root cause of the conflict is the “Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.”

Iraq

Iraq has similarly characterized the attacks on Gaza as a “continuation of the oppression of Palestinians under Israel’s occupation.” The country has consistently called out Israel’s attacks on Gaza over the years.

Iran

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Nasser Kanaani, described Palestinian resistance as a “natural response to Israel’s provocations.” He believes that the Palestinian people do not deserve to be besieged and that their retaliation shouldn’t be considered “terrorism” if Israel’s violence isn’t.

Ireland

Ireland’s Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, condemns Israel’s actions, including the cutoff of power, fuel supplies, and water, which he views as violations of international humanitarian law and collective punishment.

He spoke against Israel during a TV interview with RTÉ’s Prime Time programme,

Kuwait

Kuwait’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses concern over the escalation in Gaza and calls on the international community to halt the violence, protect the Palestinian people, and put an end to Israel’s provocations. They caution that the continuation of violence without deterrence will undermine peace efforts and the prospects of a two-state solution.

Morocco

Despite moving towards full diplomatic ties with Israel under the Abraham Accords, Morocco is deeply concerned about the situation in Gaza and calls for an immediate cessation of violence. They emphasise the importance of dialogue and negotiations as the path to a two-state solution. In an Arab League session, Morocco reiterated its full support for Palestine.

Malaysia

Malaysia calls for an end to violence in the Gaza Strip, highlighting the prolonged occupation and suffering of the Palestinian people, as well as the desecration of Al-Aqsa Mosque as the root cause of the conflict.

Maldives

The Maldivian government expressed concern about the escalating violence in the Gaza Strip and reaffirmed its solidarity with the Palestinian people. They advocate for lasting peace in the Middle East through a two-state solution based on pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.

Norway

Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt strongly criticized the total blockade of Gaza as “unacceptable” and emphasised that Israel’s right to self-defense must adhere to international law.

She expresses deep concern about the scale of destruction in Gaza and the hardships faced by its civilian population due to the blockade.

Oman

Oman’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed concern about the ongoing escalation between Palestinians and Israelis, stressing the importance of restraint by both parties. They call for international intervention to stop the escalation and underscore the need to find a just, comprehensive, and lasting solution based on the two-state solution.

Qatar

Qatar called on all parties to de-escalate and exercise restraint in the escalating situation in Gaza. They hold Israel responsible for the escalation due to violations of Palestinian rights, particularly incursions into Al-Aqsa Mosque.

It urged the international community to compel Israel to respect international law and the historical rights of the Palestinian people.

Russia

Russia emphasised that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict cannot be resolved through force but must be addressed through political and diplomatic means.

They call for an immediate ceasefire, renouncing violence, and a negotiation process with international community assistance to achieve lasting peace in the Middle East.

President Vladimir Putin highlights the need to create an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Pakistan

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar affirmed Pakistan’s solidarity with the oppressed people of Palestine and called for an immediate ceasefire on Monday.

“We stand in solidarity with the oppressed people of Palestine and call for an immediate ceasefire and lifting of the blockade in Gaza. Israel’s deliberate, indiscriminate and disproportionate targeting of civilians in Gaza is against all norms of civility and in manifest violation of international law,” it read.

Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani also condemned the Israeli bombing on the besieged Gaza Strip, equating the actions as “genocide”.

“This is a humanitarian crisis, a situation which can be equated to genocide. In fact, it is genocide being conducted by Israel against the people of Palestine,” Jilani said. “Our position is that any attempt to equate Israel, which is the aggressor, with that of the Palestinian struggle, is unacceptable to Pakistan.”

Pakistan does not recognise the state of Israel and has historically said that the occupied Palestinian territories must be vacated in line with the UN resolutions on a two-state solution.

Spain

Ione Belarra, the Spanish Minister of Social Rights, took to X (formerly Twitter) and asked her partners in government to try Netanyahu before the International Criminal Court for war crimes. “Today we raise our voice to denounce that Israel is carrying out a genocide in Gaza. We ask the government of Spain to bring Netanyahu before the International Criminal Court for war crimes.”

Syria

Syria praised the Palestinian resistance factions behind the October 7 attack while criticizing Israel’s occupation and siege.

South Africa

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed historic support for the “just struggle” of Palestinians and condemned Israel as an “oppressive regime.”

He pointed to what many human rights groups have described as Israel’s apartheid-like policies towards Palestinians.

Venezuela

The Government of Venezuela voiced concern about the situation in the Gaza Strip and calls for an end to violence throughout Palestinian territory through direct dialogue and compliance with UN Security Council resolution 2334.

Venezuela urged the United Nations to fulfill its role as a guarantor of international peace and legality.

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