World reactions to the surprise attack by Palestinian Hamas on Israel

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Hamas launched the biggest attack on Israel in years, killing more than 20 people. Here are the reactions.

Published On 7 Oct 2023

The Palestinian group Hamas has launched the biggest attack on Israel in years, killing more than 20 people in a surprise assault that included gunmen entering Israeli towns after a barrage of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.

Israel said the Iran-backed group had declared war as its army confirmed it was behind the fighting on Saturday near Gaza and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised to retaliate.

Here are reactions to the fighting so far:


French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the “terrorist attacks” against Israel.

“I strongly condemn the terrorist attacks which are currently hitting Israel. I express my full solidarity with the victims, and their families and those close to them,” Macron wrote on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

The French embassy in Israel on Saturday described the attacks as “inadmissible terrorist attacks”.

“Horrified by the developments coming from the south of the country. These terrorist attacks are inadmissible and must be condemned by everyone. We stand side by side alongside Israel and Israelis,” the French embassy wrote on X.


German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Berlin “firmly condemns the terrorist attacks from Gaza against Israel”.

Baerbock said Hamas “contributes to the intensification of violence”, adding that “violence and rockets aimed at innocent people must stop immediately”.


An adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei said that Iran supported the Palestinians’ attack, the semi-official ISNA news site reported.

“We congratulate the Palestinian fighters,” it quoted adviser Rahim Safavi as saying. “We will stand by the Palestinian fighters until the liberation of Palestine and Jerusalem.”


Italy said it backed “Israel’s right to defend itself” against the “brutal attack” by Hamas.

The government said it “condemned in the strongest terms the terror and the violence under way against innocent civilians”.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country is at “war” and that he is confident they “will win”.

“Our enemy will pay a price the type of which it has never known,” Netanyahu said in a video statement.


The Lebanese armed group Hezbollah issued a statement saying it was closely following the situation in Gaza and was in “direct contact with the leadership of the Palestinian resistance”.

Following events involving Gaza fighters who fired a barrage of rockets into Israel, the statement added that it was a “decisive response to Israel’s continued occupation and a message to those seeking normalisation with Israel”.

Palestinian President Abbas

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that the Palestinian people have the right to defend themselves against the “terror of settlers and occupation troops”, the official news agency WAFA quoted him as saying.

He was speaking at an emergency meeting held in Ramallah with a number of top officials from the Palestinian Authority.


Russia said it is in contact with Israel, the Palestinians and Arab countries in connection with the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Interfax news agency reported, citing Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov.

“It goes without saying that we always call for restraint,” he added.


Spain’s acting Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said on X that he condemned the attacks from Gaza against Israel.

“We strongly condemn the very serious terrorist attacks from Gaza against Israel. “Overwhelmed by this indiscriminate violence. All our solidarity (is) with the victims.”


Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan called on Israelis and Palestinians to act with restraint and refrain from hostile acts that could exacerbate the situation.

“We call for restraint from all parties,” Erdogan said at a congress for his ruling AK Party in Ankara. “They must refrain from aggressive acts,” he said.


Ukraine’s foreign ministry condemned what it described as “ongoing terrorist attacks” on Israel.

“Ukraine strongly condemns the ongoing terrorist attacks against Israel, including rocket attacks against the civilian population in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv,” the ministry said on X.

“We express our support for Israel in its right to defend itself and its people.”

United Kingdom

The UK also criticised the attack by Hamas on Israel on Saturday, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said.

“The UK unequivocally condemns the horrific attacks by Hamas on Israeli civilians. The UK will always support Israel’s right to defend itself,” Cleverly said in a post on social media.

The UK unequivocally condemns the horrific attacks by Hamas on Israeli civilians.

The UK will always support Israel’s right to defend itself.

— James Cleverly🇬🇧 (@JamesCleverly) October 7, 2023



Al Jazeera and news agencies

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