Governments and international bodies condemn ‘unacceptable’ killings as death toll reaches 25, including five childrenThe killing of Palestinian civilians and children during Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip has been condemned by many in the international community.
At least 25 Palestinians have been killed in the latest round of attacks on Gaza. On the third day of strikes, on Thursday, four people were already dead by the afternoon.
In a statement on Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned civilian deaths in Gaza as “unacceptable” and appealed for them to “stop immediately”.
“Israel must abide by its obligations under international humanitarian law, including the proportional use of force and taking all feasible precautions to spare civilians and civilian objects in the conduct of military operations,” Deputy UN spokesperson Farhan Haq said, speaking on Guterres behalf.
The Arab League also slammed the “barbaric Israeli raids on the Gaza Strip, which targeted civilians, children, and women in residential neighbourhoods”.
A number of national governments also condemned the attacks.
The Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that they had learned “with astonishment” of the bombing being carried out by Israel: “These bombings led to the killing of Palestinian citizens, including civilians, including children.
“The Brazilian Government expresses its condolences to the families of the victims and expresses its solidarity with the people and government of the State of Palestine.”
Jordan and Turkey also condemned the attacks, with the latter branding them as “unacceptable”.
Israel’s offensive, named “Operation Shield and Arrow,” started on Tuesday when Israeli air strikes killed 13 people in overnight raids.
The Palestinian Joint Command, an umbrella body of armed factions in Gaza, including Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, then launched rockets toward Israel in response on Wednesday in what they named “Operation Revenge for the Free”.
Fighting further escalated on Wednesday night, with Israeli air strikes pounding Gaza and hundreds of Palestinian rockets fired at southern and central Israel.
Egypt had been leading efforts to broker a ceasefire, however intense fighting still continued into the early hours of Thursday.
Reports say Israel has refused to commit to stopping its killing of Palestinian leaders in their homes, which the Palestinians have said would be a key condition in any ceasefire.
A number of countries have also condemned Palestinian rocket fire, with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan reaffirming Washington’s “ironclad support for Israel’s security”.
Germany also hit out at “indiscriminate” Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel that it said should “stop immediately”.
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