Recent events in Israel and Gaza have ignited responses from European countries, as landmark buildings illuminate with the Israeli flag and governments convene emergency meetings.
United Kingdom: Standing Strong with Israel
In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak expressed unwavering support for Israel, stating that the UK is one of Israel’s “strongest allies.”
The Safety Of Nationals
The UK government remains poised to offer diplomatic, intelligence, or security assistance if requested. Ensuring the safety of British citizens in affected areas is a top priority, with the possibility of evacuations under consideration.
In the Prime Minister’s words, “The safety of all British nationals continues to be our utmost priority.”
A Potential Shift
On Monday evening, Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden announced that the government was reviewing its aid to the Palestinian territories, indicating a potential shift in the UK’s approach to the region.
Germany: A Steadfast Partner
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says, “stands steadfastly by Israel’s side.” The German government seems to stand in solidarity with the nation as it navigates the crisis, recognizing the historical importance of their relationship.
France: Condemnation and Diplomacy
French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the attacks and engaged in discussions with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister, Najib Mikati.
European Union: Suspending Aid
The European Union suspended all aid to the Palestinian territories, signaling a significant shift in its approach to the conflict.
The Scale of Violence
European Commission representative Oliver Varhelyi announced the review of development aid worth €691 million ($728 million) and emphasized “The scale of terror and brutality against #Israel and its people is a turning point. There can be no business as usual,”
An Important Meeting
An “extraordinary meeting” of EU foreign ministers has been scheduled in Muscat, Oman, to address the situation, indicating a collective European approach to the crisis.
European Citizens Affected
Reports suggest that European citizens, including those from the UK, France, and Germany, have been affected by the conflict. Tragically, more than ten British citizens are feared dead or missing in Israel.
Among the casualties was Nathanel Young, a 20-year-old British man serving in the Israeli Defense Forces. The French government also reported the deaths of two of its citizens in Israel.
Missing, Dead, Or Taken Hostage
French lawmaker Meyer Habib tweeted that at least eight French nationals were missing, dead, or taken hostage after Hamas’ attack on Israel began. Germany’s Foreign Ministry also stated that it assumes German citizens are among those kidnapped by Hamas.
France and Germany: Security Measures
France and Germany have heightened security at Jewish institutions, synagogues, and schools in response to the conflict. The move aims to protect their Jewish communities amid growing tensions.
London’s Metropolitan Police has also increased patrols due to videos depicting celebrations in the city following attacks against Israel, signaling the potential for increased domestic tensions.
European Public Opinion
Public support for Palestinian rights and sympathy for their cause have been stronger in some European countries compared to the United States.
Polls have indicated that in Europe, there is a greater tendency to side with the Palestinians, with Germany being the exception.
Respondents in Germany were nearly evenly split on the issue. This sentiment has led to pro-Palestinian protests in London, Berlin, and certain U.S. cities, reflecting the diverse opinions within European societies.
Scottish Leader’s Personal Connection
First Minister Humza Yousaf of Scotland shared a deeply personal connection to the conflict. His parents-in-law, visiting relatives in Gaza, found themselves trapped amidst the turmoil.
Yousaf, whose wife has Palestinian heritage, revealed that Israeli authorities had advised them to leave Gaza due to the ongoing attacks, but safe passage remained uncertain.
Day by Day
Yousaf described his situation by saying, “night by night, day by day, we don’t know whether or not my mother-in-law and father-in-law — who have nothing to do, as most Gazans don’t, with Hamas or with any terror attack — whether they will make it through the night or not.”
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The post From Support to Condemnation: How Are EU Countries Responding to the Hamas Attacks? first appeared on Wealthy Living.
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