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UN, US officials condemn attacks in Israel

Senior officials at the United Nations and in the United States government have condemned the attacks in Israel. UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, has strongly condemned the multi-front assault against Israel while UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk says he’s shocked and appalled by reports of indiscriminate rockets fired by Palestinian armed groups towards Israel. High Commissioner Volker Turk has called for an immediate stop to the violence. He says the attack was having a horrific impact on Israeli civilians, expressing deep concern at reports that Israeli civilians had been taken hostage.

He also notes that Israel had responded with airstrikes in the densely populated Gaza Strip, urging it to take all precautions to avoid civilian casualties.

A White House Spokesperson Adrienne Watson condemned what she called the unprovoked attacks by Hamas against Israeli civilians, calling the attacks terrorism.

The United States says it stood firmly with the Government and people of Israel and remains in close contact with Israeli partners. Hamas launched the biggest attack on Israel in years on Saturday, killing at least 40 people and wounding hundreds in a surprise assault that combined gunmen crossing into Israel with a barrage of rockets fired from Gaza.

Israel said the Iran-backed group had declared war as its army confirmed fighting with militants in several Israeli towns and military bases near Gaza, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to retaliate. Our enemy will pay a price the type of which it has never known,” he said. “We are in a war and we will win it”.

Israel’s ambulance service said at least 40 Israelis were killed and hundreds wounded in the Hamas attack but the total appeared likely to rise. A Reuters photographer saw multiple bodies lying in streets of the southern town of Sderot.

The Israeli military said it had responded with air strikes into Gaza, where witnesses reported hearing heavy explosions and multiple dead and wounded being carried into hospitals.

Source: eNCA

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