Israel’s long-promised attack on the Gaza Strip commenced in earnest today, with over 200 already dead as of the most recent reports. But at the Israeli Foreign Ministry mounts its “emergency international PR effort” to secure international support for what Defense Minister Ehud Barak promised will be a “long and difficult” military campaign in the heavily populated strip, international opposition to the killings is already trickling in.
Russia was one of the first to respond, with a foreign ministry spokesman calling for an immediate halt to attacks by both forces. The European Union likewise called for a return to the cease-fire, saying there was “no military solution in Gaza” and urging Israel to allow the resumption of humanitarian aid.
Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa said it was “an unimaginable and unacceptable act,” while the Jordanian government is pressuring the Arab League to unite in favor of an immediate end to the attacks. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is reportedly in talks with the King of Saudi Arabia about the situation as well. As Gaza’s hospitals filled with dead and wounded, Egypt has opened the Rafah border crossing to allow ambulances to bring in the wounded.
Virtually alone in refusing to criticize the killings was the United States, who instead blamed Hamas for the entire situation and simply urged Israel to keep the number of civilians it kills in the new war to a minimum. President-elect Barack Obama has so far declined comment on the situation.