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The leaders of the UK, US, France, Germany and Italy have released a joint statement expressing “steadfast and united support” for the state of Israel and “unequivocal condemnation” of the Hamas militant group.

It follows an unprecedented attack on Israel from Gaza on Saturday the Palestinian militant group, with Israel responding with airstrikes and a “complete siege” of the Gaza Strip.

The statement was released after a call between the UK prime minister, Rishi Sunak; the US president, Joe Biden; the French president, Emmanuel Macron; the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz; and the Italian prime minister, Giorgia Meloni. Together the five countries comprise the Quint international organisation.

“We make clear that the terrorist actions of Hamas have no justification, no legitimacy, and must be universally condemned,” the statement reads. “There is never any justification for terrorism.

“In recent days, the world has watched in horror as Hamas terrorists massacred families in their homes, slaughtered over 200 young people enjoying a music festival, and kidnapped elderly women, children, and entire families, who are now being held.

The terrorist actions of Hamas have no justification, no legitimacy

At least 900 people have reportedly been killed in Israel since the conflict began on Saturday, with more than 650 dead in Gaza. More than 100 people have been taken hostage Hamas, according to Israel’s foreign ministry.

On Sunday, October 8 the US defence secretary, Lloyd Austin, announced that he had ordered American naval ships, including an aircraft carrier, to move closer to the eastern Mediterranean in response to Hamas’s attack. But it was confirmed on Monday that the US has no intention of putting military forces on the ground after the attacks on Israel.

Linda Ikeji at 10/10/2023 9:41 AM


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