Israel-Palestine conflict has been one of the most serious border disputes in the world for many decades now and is an issue that divides the world community. The recent Israel-Gaza conflict, which started on November 14, 2012 and lasted for eight days, is an offshoot of this long-standing territorial dispute.
This conflict comes at a time when the Middle East is already going through some major seismic changes. During the last couple of years, many regime changes have occurred and several countries are in a state of civil unrest, as a result. The Israel-Gaza conflict, at this point of time, is a source of major concern for not only the regional players but also for the world. Expectedly, this recent escalation of conflict has evoked strong responses from countries around the world.
Israel maintains that the attacks were in response to rocket attacks on southern Israel from inside Gaza. Western countries such as United States, Canada, Germany and United Kingdom have supported the Israeli operation and the right to defend itself.
However, the offensive by Israel has been condemned by most of the Arab and Muslim countries such as Iran, Egypt and Turkey. Sudanese President urged the Arab world to unite and face challenges, and enhance political and economic cooperation. Pakistan representative to UN, Ambassador Masood Khan, expressed concern that these developments threaten international peace and security.
Egypt has played an important role in negotiating the ceasefire truce and its role has been widely appreciated. It was an especially tricky situation for Muhammad Morsi, Egypt’s newly elected president, who had to balance the act of maintaining good relations with the Western countries and the expectations of his own people and the Arab world. The Arab league’s Secretary Nabil al-Arabi, expressing solidarity for the Palestinian cause, condemned Israeli’s aggression and backed Egypt’s efforts. The Arab League pledged to bring an end to the Israeli blockade on Gaza imposed since 2007. Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan also called for the abolishment of the economic embargo against Gaza and welcomed the truce.
U.N. Secretary-General held talks with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Egyptian President Morsi expressed his concern for the safety of civilians and asked both sides to ensure their safety. He also urged nations to find a long-term solution to the broader problem, while working to ensure that the present situation does not deteriorate. United Nations Security Council also called on both sides to find ways to de-escalate tensions and resume dialogue.
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Irrespective of the sides countries took, majority of them called on Israel and Hamas, which won the Palestinian elections of 2006 to exercise restraint and to resume dialogue. International opinion with respect to this conflict has been consistent – to bring an end to the impasse, de-escalate tensions and embark on a path of sustained dialogue.