NATO Urges Israel To Respond With ‘Proportionality’ In Gaza

NATO members notified Israel’s defense minister on Thursday that they supported his country following the Hamas attack, but urged his forces to respond with “proportionality,” according to the alliance.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant updated his peers from the US-led military coalition via videolink as his country’s military conducts a bombing campaign following the deaths of over 1,200 people, largely civilians, by Islamist militants.

“Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that NATO condemned the terrorist attacks in the strongest possible terms, adding: ‘Israel does not stand alone’,” NATO said in a statement.

“Allies expressed solidarity with Israel, making clear that it has the right to defend itself with proportionality against these unjustifiable acts of terror.”

Israeli Merkava tanks are positioned in the upper Galilee in northern Israel near the border with Lebanon on October 11, 2023. (Photo by Jalaa MAREY / AFP)

NATO countries “demanded that Hamas immediately release all hostages and provide full protection to civilians.” Allies also stated unequivocally that “no nation or organization should seek to exploit or escalate the situation.”

The statement went on to say that “a number of NATO allies made clear that they are providing practical support to Israel as it continues to respond to the situation” .

Officials in Gaza have claimed more than 1,200 deaths as a result of Israel’s continuous campaign of air and artillery strikes, while the UN has estimated more than 338,000 people displaced.

US President Joe Biden, who has publicly backed Israel and begun delivering military help, has warned that despite “all the anger and frustration,” Israel must “operate by the rules of war.”

Grant Shapps, the British Defence Secretary, said on Thursday that Israel was “going after the terrorists” in Gaza.

“They are not by design attacking civilians,” he told journalists at NATO headquarters.

“That’s a very, very important, critical difference that I think the whole world needs to understand.”

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