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QUOTES-Reactions to Israeli-Palestinian fighting

·3-min read

(Raw quotes from witnesses, victims and officials in a breaking news situation)

LONDON, May 12 (Reuters) - U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTONIO GUTERRES: Guterres' spokesman said the secretary-general was saddened by "the increasingly large numbers of casualties, including children, from Israeli air strikes in Gaza and of Israeli fatalities from rockets launched from Gaza.

"Israeli security forces must exercise maximum restraint and calibrate their use of force. The indiscriminate launching of rockets and mortars towards Israeli population centres is unacceptable," U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

THE UNITED STATES: The White House said Israel had a legitimate right to defend itself from Hamas rocket attacks but said Jerusalem "must be a place of co-existence". White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden's support for "Israel's security, for its legitimate right to defend itself and its people, is fundamental and will never waver". EUROPEAN UNION: The European Union said Palestinian rocket attacks into Israel were "totally unacceptable" and called on all sides to aim for a de-escalation and to prevent more civilian casualties.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell also condemned evictions of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem, calling them illegal and saying they only served to fuel tensions.

BRITISH PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON: "The UK is deeply concerned by the growing violence and civilian casualties and we want to see an urgent de-escalation of tensions." GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER HEIKO MAAS: "The rocket attack on Israel is absolutely unacceptable and must end immediately. Israel has in this situation the right to self-defence. This escalation of violence can be neither tolerated nor accepted."

ARAB LEAGUE: Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit said the Israeli air strikes were "indiscriminate and irresponsible". He said Israel was responsible for a "dangerous escalation" in Jerusalem and called on the international community to act immediately to stop the violence. IRANIAN SUPREME LEADER AYATOLLAH ALI KHAMENEI: "Zionists understand nothing but the language of force, so the Palestinians must increase their power and resistance to force the criminals to surrender and stop their brutal acts," Khamenei said.


"The Israeli government must finally understand that it will not be able to suppress the Palestinian people's legitimate rights and demands by using indiscriminate and disproportionate power," the Turkish foreign ministry said.


The OIC "praised the steadfastness of the Palestinian people stationed in the occupied city of Jerusalem and their response to the Israeli attacks on the holy sites."


Middle East director Fabrizio Carboni said international humanitarian law prohibits indiscriminate attacks against civilians, any attack must be proportionate, and all necessary precautions must be taken to avoid civilian casualties.

He called for "rapid, safe and unimpeded movement for ambulances" and for staff and volunteers of both the Palestinian and Israeli medical services.


Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said the court was concerned about the possibility that war crimes were being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and in and around Gaza, and was monitoring developments.

(Reporting by Reuters bureaux, Editing by Angus MacSwan)