By Kemi Osukoya

October 8, 2023

The militant group Hamas attacked Israel on Saturday, killing Israeli soldiers and civilians in what is called one of the most barbaric and horrific attacks on the nation in modern history.

Leaders from across the world, including President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, President William Ruto of Kenya, African Union Chairperson of the Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat, U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, denounced the terrorist attacks on Israel.

In a statement released by the white House on Saturday, President Biden said the U.S. “unequivocally condemns this appalling assault against Israel by Hamas terrorists from Gaza,” and “stand ready to offer all appropriate means of support to the Government and people of Israel. Terrorism is never justified. Israel has a right to defend itself and its people. The United States warns against any other party hostile to Israel seeking advantage in this situation. My Administration’s support for Israel’s security is rock solid and unwavering.”

President Ruto wrote on X, the social media formerly known as Twitter, that Kenya stands in solidarity with the State of Israel and unequivocally condemned terrorism and attacks on innocent civilians in the country and called on the international community to mobilize to bring the perpetrators, organizers, financiers, sponsors, supporters and enablers of these reprehensible criminal acts of terrorism to account and speedily bring them to justice. 

“The people of Kenya and their government hereby express deepest sympathy and send condolences to the families of all victims. We also wish a speedy recovery to the injured,” said President Ruto.

He added that in consideration of the complex and delicate context of the security situation in Israel-Palestine,  Kenya also makes a call for the de-escalation of violence and urges all parties to restrain from further military action, given its potential to intensify carnage and the suffering of innocent civilians, and to trigger heightened tension in the region and beyond. 

“We are profoundly disturbed that civilians continue to be intentionally targeted in this conflict, as a consequence of which the number of casualties continues to rise. We therefore call on all parties to respect the rights of civilians and honor their obligations under international law. Finally, we take this opportunity to reiterate our firm stand in solidarity with all those calling on the parties to desist from further attacks, promptly effect cease-fire and embark on a path towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict.”

AU Chairperson of the Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, echoed President Ruto’s plea for a quick deescalation of the current Isreali-Palestinian hostilities, which have “grave consequences for the lives of Isreali and Palestinian civilians in particular, and for peace in the region, in general”

He urged both parties to “put an end to military hostilities and to return without conditions to the negotiating table to implement the principle of two States living side by side, to safeguard the interests of the Palestinan people and the Israelie people” and called on the international community to intervene to impose peace and guarantee the rights of the two people.

U.N. Women Chief Sima Bahous called for protection of women and girls in the wake of the attacks on Israel underscoring that “it is imperative that all civilians, including women and girls are protected” and called for immediate deescalation and for upholding and respecting international humanitarian law.

President of International Fund for Agricultural Development Alvaro Lario said his organization is also following the situation on Israel and the Gaza strip “with great concern and sadness. We join the U.N. Secretary General  Antonio Guterres in condemning the attacks by Hamas and believe all diplomatic efforts must be deployed to avoid wider hostilities, destruction and loss of life.”

Prime minister Rishi Sunak said U.K stands unequivocally with israel. “This attack by Hamas is cowardly and depraved. We have expressed our full solidarity to [Prime minister] Natanyahu and will work with international partners in the next 24 hours to co-ordinate support.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom noted that “what we are witnessing is nothing short of horrific. Women, children—innocent people—being targeted with brutal acts of terrorism by Hamas. All on the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War.”