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EU, US, UK urge to defend civilian population of Israel

The EU Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrel, also stated the need to release the hostages

MOSCOW, October 8. /TASS/. EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell issued a joint statement with the top diplomats of the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy, which describes the protection of Israel’s civilian population as a priority.

"We stand united in our condemnation of the heinous attacks against Israel. Protection of civilians is of utmost priority. Hostages must be released," Borrell wrote on the X social network (previously known as Twitter).

"Regional escalation must be avoided and stability preserved," he added.

On the morning of October 7, rocket attacks were launched at the Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip. Simultaneously, groups of militants infiltrated the territory of Israel. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) announced it was launching Operation 'Iron Swords' in retaliation for the attack, coming from the Palestinian exclave.

Ismail Haniyeh, the current head of HAMAS's Political Bureau, said the Palestinian attack was launched in retaliation for Israel’s aggressive actions regarding the Al Aqsa mosque in central Jerusalem. Under these circumstances, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has approved a call-up of reservists. The state of emergency was declared over the entire territory of Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country was "at war" and was determined to win it.

According to latest reports, the rocket attacks left at least 300 Israelis dead and over 1,500 injured. Israel’s attacks on the exclave left over 230 Palestinians dead and almost 1,700 wounded.