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Who Do Middle Eastern Countries Support in Israel-Hamas Conflict?

Обстрел зданий в палестинском городе ГазаInternationalIndiaAfricaChristina MalykHostilities have been raging around the Gaza Strip after Hamas units’ invasion to surrounding lands. The current escalation is projected to become one of the largest in the history of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Both Israel and the Gaza Strip have found themselves in the middle of a complex conflict, in which different countries support different sides. For his part, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has reportedly spoken to several foreign ministers from Arab countries, asking them to condemn the Hamas actions. The majority of Arab countries, especially the monarchies of Persian Gulf, have close political and financial ties with the US. MultimediaIsrael Unleashes Strikes on Gaza, as War With Hamas Rages 15:00 GMTIn September, Blinken and foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council agreed to strengthen ties in defense and security. The US and Gulf foreign ministers also reaffirmed their “commitment to free navigation and maritime security in the Gulf region” in a move against what Washington believes to be an “Iranian threat” in the region.Sputnik tracked how regional countries have reacted to the latest developments in Israel and Palestine, and whether this connects with its US relations.UAEThe UAE became the first Arab country to condemn Hamas’ actions.“The [Foreign] Ministry stressed that attacks by Hamas against Israeli towns and villages near the Gaza strip, including the firing of thousands of rockets at population centers, are a serious and grave escalation. The Ministry is appalled by reports that Israeli civilians have been abducted as hostages from their homes. Civilians on both sides must always have full protection under international humanitarian law and must never be a target of conflict,” wrote the official ministry press release.It also noted, “The Ministry deeply mourns the loss of Israeli and Palestinian lives as a result of the outbreak of violence, and calls on both parties to de-escalate and avoid an expansion of the heinous violence with tragic consequences affecting civilian lives and facilities.”The statement was announced right after UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s call with Blinken.BahrainAn official statement made by Bahrain stressed the need for de-escalation between Palestinians and Israelis. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bahrain is “supporting the peace process and establishing the Palestinian state according to the two-state solution and other international legitimacy resolutions.”“The Kingdom of Bahrain is closely following the developments taking place between Palestinian groups and Israeli forces, leading to an increase in violence and armed attacks that claimed the lives of a number of people and injured others,” noted the Foreign Ministry.Saudi ArabiaThe Saudi Arabia Ministry of Foreign Affairs through an official statement on Twitter “calls for an immediate halt to the escalation between the two sides, the protection of civilians, and restraint.” Nevertheless, the Saudi Foreign Ministry reminded “the deprivation of the Palestinian people and their legitimate rights.” But Saudi Arabia did not blame Israel for the escalation.On Saturday, in a phone call with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Blinken said the Kingdom should clearly condemn the attack, State Department officially said. Nevertheless, the Saudi Foreign Ministry did not include any criticism of the attack or of Hamas. So, Saudi officials appear to be taking a wait-and-see stance.QatarThe Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs officially stated that Israel is “solely responsible for the ongoing escalation due to its ongoing violations of the rights of the Palestinian people.” Doha also expressed deep concern over the developments in the region and called for de-escalation as quickly as possible.Earlier on Monday, Western outlets reported that Doha is mediating talks to swap Hamas-held hostages in coordination with the United States. But neither Israel, Qatar nor Palestine has confirmed this information. Later in the day, Hamas spokesman Husam Badran denied to Sputnik that any negotiations with Israel on prisoners exchange are taking place.KuwaitKuwait officially expressed its “grave concern” over developments between Israel and the Palestinians, blaming Israel for what it called its “blatant attacks.”Its Ministry of Foreign Affairs called for the international community, especially the Security Council, “to take responsibility and stop the ongoing violence, protect the Palestinian people and put an end to the provocative actions of the occupation authorities.”Kuwait is one of the countries that strictly denies any contact with Israel.OmanThe Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Oman called on Palestinians and Israelis to exercise restraint. Oman also highlighted “strategic necessity to find a just, comprehensive and lasting solution to the Palestinian cause on the basis of the two-state solution.”YemenThe Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Yemen officially blamed Israel for the current escalation. The ministry “called for the protection of civilians and an end to the provocations of the Israeli occupation forces and their repeated attacks on the Palestinian people and their sanctities.”IraqIraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein expressed his full support for the Palestinian people “to act against the aggressive actions of the Zionist regime” during telephone conversation with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amirabdollahian on Sunday.However, the Foreign Ministry of Iraq has not issued any official statement yet. This may be connected with close ties with both the US and Iran at the same time.SyriaSyria’s Foreign Ministry issued an official statement expressing support for the Palestinian people and the forces “fighting against Zionist terrorism.”Moreover, Damascus described Hamas’ actions as “honourable achievement that proves the only way for Palestinians to obtain their legitimate rights is resistance in all its forms.”LebanonThe Lebanon’s Foreign Ministry issued no official statements on the Israeli-Hamas conflict. That said, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which operates on Southern Lebanon near the Israeli border, praised Hamas for its “heroic operation” in a statement. Hezbollah also claimed responsibility for shelling Israeli territory during the escalation.JordanJordan’s King Abdullah said on Sunday there was a need to intensify diplomatic efforts to prevent escalating Israel-Palestinian violence with “dangerous repercussions” for the region’s security.He also called for “urgent international action to avoid an escalation and prevent the region from the consequences of a new round of violence.”In turn, Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi warned both Palestinian and Israeli sides of the “volatility”’ of the escalation.EgyptEgypt warned of the “severe dangers” posed by current escalation between the Gaza Strip and Israel.“Egypt calls for international actors involved in backing the efforts of resuming the peace process to intervene immediately to halt the ongoing escalation,” Egypt’s Foreign Ministry noted.Egypt has always been a peace process mediator between Israel and Hamas, working with the US. According to media outlets, both Western and local, Egypt tried to bring the parties to the negotiating table, but did not manage to do it.IranIran’s Foreign Ministry has strongly condemned “the usurping Zionist regime’s attacks against civilian targets in southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani also stated that Hamas’ attacks showed increased confidence by the Palestinians against Israel.Iran regards both Israel and the US as its own enemy.

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