Palestinians are accusing governments of Arab countries of failing to back their cause amid Israel’s assault on Hamas militants who first kidnapped and killed three Israeli teenagers and then launched rocket barrages following the revenge killing of a Palestinian teenager.
The New York Times reported Saturday Arab governments are distracted by their own problems, with many fighting Islamist groups like Hamas themselves.
“It’s remarkable,” Diana Buttu, a Palestinian attorney and analyst, told the Times. “In all the other invasions and assaults on Gaza, there was at least some government that would come out and talk about how what Israel was doing was illegal and show some support. This time around, there’s been nothing. The silence is deafening.”
Palestinians expressed anger at the apparent shift in attitude in Egypt, which has mediated past conflicts between Palestinians and Israelis. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has kept Egypt’s border crossing with Gaza closed, and he publicly blamed Hamas for the bloodshed last week.
Haaretz reporter Anshel Pfeffer tweeted Egypt’s remarks were “incredible”:
â€” Anshel Pfeffer (@AnshelPfeffer) July 17, 2014
Egypt’s support for Hamas has waned since the military deposed former President Mohammed Morsi and routed the Muslim Brotherhood.
Outside the Arab world, however, Turkey cranked up its rhetoric Saturday with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatening to break diplomatic relations with Israel if the conflict isn’t resolved soon, the Associated Press reported.
Saturday, Israel continued to pound tunnels used by Hamas to move arms and personnel from the Gaza to Israel as Hamas fired more rockets. Israel News Feed, quoting Palestinian media, reported heavy gunfire across Gaza. Hamas claimed it killed five Israeli soldiers Saturday, the Ma'an News Agency reported. Israel said two soldiers were killed.