World reaction to Gaza, Israel conflict

TORONTO – As bombings rocked the Gaza Strip, the international community and its leaders took their stance on the quickly escalating dispute between Israel and Hamas.

Most leaders called for a cease-fire – a diplomatic solution both parties say they’re open to, but the violence continued on Monday.

Take a look at world reaction to what pundits say could escalate into a war.

In the United States:

U.S. President Barack Obama’s words were clear in his first encounter with international relations in his second term as the country’s head of state.
“We will continue to support Israel’s right to defend itself,” Obama said on Sunday while kicking off a tour in Asia.

In this video clip, Obama says his administration is “fully supportive of Israel’s right to defend itself.”

“Israel has every right to expect that it does not have missiles fired into its territory,” he said, promising that he’d stay in regular contact with Egyptian and Turkish leaders in an effort to progress toward a more peaceful resolution, according to Slate magazine.

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In Egypt:

The Arab world was not impressed with the warfare between Israelis and Palestinians, with widespread protests gaining speed.

In Egypt, officials recalled the country’s ambassador from Tel Aviv immediately after Israel’s first air strike. Egyptians in Cairo carried Palestinian flags and chanted, “Palestinian blood is our blood,” according to a report by the Daily Beast.

Egyptians take part in a demonstration outside the Arab League headquarters during an emergency meeting of the Arab Foreign ministers in Cairo on November 17, 2012. Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi said that the bloc should review its peace proposals to Israel and its entire stance on the peace process in response to the conflict in Gaza. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD KHALED

In Germany:

Berlin’s Die Tageszeitung tells the story on its front page with photos of the smoke-filled skies and destruction on the ground in Gaza, juxtaposed by a normal sunny, Sunday afternoon in Tel Aviv.

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Meanwhile Spiegel Online, a German weekly news magazine published in Hamburg, broke down the country’s take on the violence, showing how newspapers have their political leanings.

Take a look at the analysis here.

In China:

China called on both sides to exercise “maximum restraint,” but singled out Israel and its violent decision making.

“China supports Arab countries’ just position on the Israeli-Arab issue,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told Agence-France Presse.

The large nation’s front pages illustrated Israel’s attack on Hamas.

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In the United Kingdom:

UK Prime Minister David Cameron urged Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu to do “everything possible” to end the bloodshed and bombings, according to the BBC.

In a personal phone call, Cameron told Netanyahu that the rocket attacks were “unacceptable.”

The Daily Telegraph live-blogged the Gaza-Israel conflict. Take a look here.

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In Canada:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper threw his support behind Israel, but still suggested the violence is concerning to Ottawa.

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According to the Toronto Star, Harper said Canada has been concerned for some time about the ongoing dispute between the two countries.

“We condemn this terrorist group’s attack on Israel,” he said.

“We recognize and support Israel’s right to defend itself against such terrorist attacks but obviously we urge all sides to take all precautions possible to spare any innocent lives.”

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