World leaders have called for calm amid escalating violence in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
On Thursday, January 26, Israeli forces killed nine Palestinians in the Jenin refugee camp in a raid.
On the same day, a Palestinian man was shot dead by Israeli forces in the town of Ram, north of Jerusalem. It was one of the deadliest days in the occupied West Bank.
A Palestinian attacker shot and killed seven people near a synagogue in occupied East Jerusalem on Friday before being shot dead.
A Palestinian shot and wounded two Israelis in the Palestinian Silwan neighbourhood, near Jerusalem’s historic Old City, on Saturday.
Here’s how top figures around the world have reacted to the escalation in violence in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories:
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
Guterres’ spokesman said the “terrorist attack” that killed seven people outside a Jerusalem synagogue was “particularly abhorrent” because it happened at a place of worship on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The UN human rights office urged an end to the “endless cycle of violence” in the occupied West Bank, adding that it was “very concerned” by the rise in Palestinian deaths following one of the deadliest attacks by Israeli forces in years .
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas
Abbas declared three days of mourning for the victims of the Israeli attack on the Jenin refugee camp. As he announced the three-day period of mourning, he also said the flag would be lowered “for the souls of the martyrs of the Holocaust under Israeli occupation”.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borelli
The European Union’s foreign and security policy chief condemned the “crazy act of violence and hatred” after a “horrific terrorist attack” outside a synagogue.
He also responded to the attack on the Jenin refugee camp. He said that while the EU recognized Israel’s “legitimate security concerns”, he also stressed that “lethal force should only be used as a last resort when it is absolutely unavoidable in order to protect life”.
Borrell noted that Israeli forces have killed 30 Palestinians in the West Bank since the beginning of 2023. He called on all parties to “reverse this cycle of violence and make meaningful efforts to restart peace talks”.
US President Joe Biden
Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the Jerusalem shooting that claimed the lives of seven Israelis. He dismissed the incident as “an attack on the civilized world,” according to a White House statement about their call.
The US president stressed his country’s “firm” commitment to Israel’s security and said his team would be in regular contact with their Israeli counterparts.
Israeli Foreign Minister Elie Cohen
Cohen tweeted, “A very difficult Sabbath for all Israelis. My condolences to the families of those killed in the horrific attack on a synagogue and prayers with all Israelis for the wounded recover.”
“We will act with determination to restore the security of Israeli citizens.”
French President Emmanuel Macron
Macron condemned the “abhorrent” synagogue attack on Twitter.
he added. “The escalation of violence must be avoided at all costs,” adding that his thoughts were with the victims, their relatives and the people of Israel.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
Zelensky shared on Twitter that his country sympathized with Israel after the Jerusalem attack. And a Ukrainian woman was also one of the victims of the synagogue shooting.
Russia’s foreign ministry called on all parties to show “maximum restraint” and said it had observed the latest incident with “deep concern”.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz
Scholz said he was “deeply appalled” by the “terrible” Jerusalem attack.
The German Foreign Office condemned the “hateful” shooting near the synagogue on Friday 27th. It also stressed that “dialogue and cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are more necessary than ever in order to eradicate terrorism”.