Sumber: Reuters | Editor: Handoyo .
KONTAN.CO.ID - GAZA. Israel faced mounting international pressure, including from its main ally the United States, to do more to protect Palestinian civilians in Gaza as the death toll rose and fighting intensified near hospitals.
The number of Palestinians killed during the bombardment of the coastal enclave in the past five weeks rose above 11,000, according to Gaza health officials, as Israeli forces waged war on Hamas militants who carried out the deadly Oct. 7 rampage in southern Israel.
In his strongest comments to date on the plight of civilians caught in the cross-fire, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters on a visit to India on Friday: "Far too many Palestinians have been killed; far too many have suffered these past weeks."
But Blinken reaffirmed U.S. support for Israel's campaign to ensure that Gaza can no longer be used "as a platform for launching terrorism".
French President Emmanuel Macron, in a BBC interview published late on Friday, said Israel must stop bombing Gaza and killing civilians. France, he said, "clearly condemns" the "terrorist" actions of Hamas, but that while recognising Israel's right to protect itself.
"We do urge them to stop this bombing," Macron said.
In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said world leaders should be condemning Hamas, and not Israel. "These crimes that Hamas (is) committing today in Gaza will be committed tomorrow in Paris, New York and anywhere in the world," Netanyahu said.
Israel has said that Hamas militants, who are holding as many as 240 hostages of different nationalities taken in last month's attack, would exploit a truce to regroup if there were a ceasefire.
Saudi Arabia was set to host an extraordinary joint Islamic-Arab summit on Saturday. The Saudi foreign ministry said "countries feel the need to unify efforts and come out with a unified collective position".
Before leaving Tehran to attend the summit in Riyadh, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said: "Gaza is not an arena for words. It should be for action."
"Today, the unity of the Islamic countries is very important," he added.
Iran backs both Hamas and Islamic Jihad, another Palestinian militant group in Gaza, as well as Hezbollah, a militant group based in Lebanon.
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