Climbing in the Middle East. Mass attack by Hamas prompts Israeli retaliation

In parallel, Iran and pro-Iranian Shiite groups Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Yemen’s Houthis have openly expressed their support for Palestinian fighters against the Jewish state.

The 22-state Arab League warned in a statement that “the cycle of armed conflict between Palestinians and Israelis is moving the region away from any real chance of guaranteeing stability or peace in the future.”

The Secretary General of the Pan-Arab Organization, Ahmed Abulkaid, called for an “immediate cessation of military operations in Gaza”, recalling his repeated warnings that “acceptance of Israel’s violent and extremist policies is tantamount to bombing”.

According to the latest death toll, 100 people were killed and more than 900 injured in Israel following a surprise attack by land, sea and air from the Gaza Strip by the Islamist group Hamas.

In response, Israel declared a state of war and began a series of aerial bombardments of Gaza, where Palestinian health sources reported at least 200 dead and 1,160 injured.

Egypt, which signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, is a decisive mediator between this country and Palestine, “maintaining intense contacts centered on influential international sectors to ensure coordinated and sustainable efforts (…) and to prevent the situation from getting out of control.”

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry discussed “efforts to contain the escalation” with his counterparts from France and Germany, Catherine Colonna and Annalena Baerbach, and the EU’s high representative for foreign policy, Joseph Borrell. In a statement.

Shokr maintained similar ties with his counterparts in Jordan, Ayman Al Safadi, and Abdallah bin Said in the United Arab Emirates, whose countries signed peace treaties with Israel in 1994 and 2020.

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Egypt, like other regional actors such as Qatar, brokered a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants last May, five days after which 35 people were killed, most of them Palestinians, and heavily injured. The impoverished region, home to two million people, has been under a total blockade by the Israelis and Egypt since 2007.

Qatar, the main Arab backer of the Palestinians, today held Israel “solely” responsible for the new expansion for “continuing violations of the rights of the Palestinian people” and called on both sides to show “maximum restraint”.

The Iraqi government, led by Prime Minister Mohammad Shia Al Sudani, expressed a similar position, saying that “the actions the Palestinian people are taking today are a natural consequence of the systematic oppression they have been subjected to by the Zionist occupation.”

Al Sudani called on the Arab League to hold an emergency meeting “to discuss the dangerous situation in the Palestinian territories”, which “affects the stability of the region”.

The government of Iran, a non-Arab country and head of the Shiite movement, “congratulated the greater Palestinian state and all anti-Zionist groups” for Hans’s al-Aqsa storming of Israel, Iranian news agency ISNA reported. .

In a statement, the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah also called for “Arab and Islamic” support for Palestinian militants, and called the groups “opposed” and “united in blood, word and deed” against the Jewish state.

In Yemen, the Shiite Houthi rebels, who have controlled the capital Sanaa and large swaths of the country’s center and north since 2014, demonstrated with thousands of people in the Yemeni capital in support of Hamas.

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The Islamist group Hamas today launched a surprise offensive against Israeli territory dubbed Operation “Al-Aqsa Storm,” launching thousands of rockets and ground, sea and air incursions by armed fighters.

In response to the surprise attack, Israel launched an aerial bombardment of several Hamas facilities in the Gaza Strip, dubbed the “Iron Sword”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Israel was “at war” with Hamas.

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