US, Australia back Gaza strike; rest of the world doesn't

Sunday, December 28, 2008 |  Israel Today Staff

The United States and Australia got behind Israel on Saturday evening as the Jewish state went on the offensive against Gaza's terrorist infrastructure, while the rest of the international community was less forgiving.

Washington urged Israel to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza, but placed all of the blame for the currently situation on Hamas.

"What we've got to see is Hamas stop firing rocket into Israel, that's what precipitated this," White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe told reporters.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice released a statement saying that the US "holds Hamas responsible for breaking the ceasefire and for the renewal of violence" in Gaza.

Australia's acting prime minister, Julia Gillard, also released a statement noting that Hamas "broke the ceasefire and engaged in an act of aggression against Israel. Israel has responded."

Now that Israel has shown Hamas the error of its ways, Gillard said Australia would like to see the two sides renew their ceasefire.

The reactions from other world capitals were less sympathetic to Israel's position.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy blasted Hamas for its "irresponsible provocations," but also took Israel to task for its "disproportionate use of force." Sarkozy insisted there is no military solution to the terrorist threat emanating from Gaza.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he was concerned by both the terrorist rocket attacks and Israel's response, and said that he had called Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to urge restraint.

In an emergency session held early Sunday morning the UN Security Council unanimously passed a statement calling on both Israel and Hamas to halt the violence and agree to a new ceasefire. The statement also demanded that Israel throw open the gates to Gaza and disregard its own security concerns about infiltration by Palestinian terrorists.

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