EU Condemns Hamas Attack on Israel as ‘Terrorism in Its Most Despicable Form’

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‘Israel has the right to defend itself against such heinous attacks,’ European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says.

European leaders condemned the surprise attack on Israel by the Hamas militant group early Saturday and proclaimed Israel’s right to defend itself.

“It is terrorism in its most despicable form,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement. “Israel has the right to defend itself against such heinous attacks.” European Council President Charles Michel and European Parliament President Roberta Metsola also condemned the attack.

Hamas caught Israel off-guard early Saturday morning with thousands of rockets fired and dozens of heavily armed gunmen storming into Israel’s south. The Israel Defense Forces responded by striking Hamas targets in Gaza. “The IDF is initiating a large-scale operation to defend Israeli civilians,” the IDF said in a statement.

“We are at war,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to declared. “And we will win,” he said in a message to Israelis.

Across Europe, messages of indignation poured in.

“Horrific images from Israel,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said, calling the Hamas assault an “unprecedented attack on Israel.”

French President Emmanuel Macron said France “stands in solidarity with Israel and the Israelis.” Macron said he had spoken with Netanyahu and Israeli President Isaac Herzog.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said his country was “deeply shocked by the rocket fire from Gaza and the escalating violence.”

“Violence and rockets against innocent people must stop immediately,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said. “Israel has our full solidarity and the right under international law to defend itself against terror.”

The French foreign ministry re-affirmed “its absolute rejection of terrorism and its commitment to Israel’s security.”

Josep Borrell, the EU’s top diplomat, echoed that sentiment. “This horrific violence must stop immediately. Terrorism and violence solve nothing,” he said in a statement.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, whose country has been under attack from Russia for more than 18 months, said: “Terror should have no place in the world, because it is always a crime.”

U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was “shocked” by the Hamas attack. “Israel has an absolute right to defend itself,” Sunak said on social media.

Source : Politico