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International reactions mixed following Israeli hostage rescue

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(JNS) Western officials have expressed relief at the rescue by Israeli forces of four hostages Saturday, though some have also echoed Arab countries in condemning the operation in Gaza’s Nuseirat camp as a “massacre.”
“Noa Argamani, Almog Meir Jan, Andrey Kozlov and Shlomi Ziv are free and safe today. We share the relief of their families and call for the release of all the remaining hostages,” tweeted E.U. High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell. He went on to call for the implementation of a ceasefire deal U.S. President Joe Biden unveiled a week and a half ago.
In a separate tweet, however, Borrell wrote, “Reports from Gaza of another massacre of civilians are appalling. We condemn this in the strongest terms. The bloodbath must end immediately.”
Similarly, the Palestinian Authority called for a United Nations emergency session to address the “massacre” in Nuseirat, a densely built-up residential area where the four hostages were being held in civilian apartments.
“In response to the gruesome massacre perpetrated by Israeli occupation forces this morning in the Nuseirat refugee camp, President Mahmoud Abbas has instructed Palestine’s envoy to the United Nations to request an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council to discuss the repercussions of the bloodshed,” read a statement from Abbas’s office.
Egypt also condemned the operation, failing to mention the hostages at all.
“The Arab Republic of Egypt condemns in the strongest terms the Israeli attacks on the Nuseirat camp in the central Gaza Strip, which resulted in the death of more than 150 Palestinian civilians and the injury of hundreds, in a flagrant violation of all provisions of international law, international humanitarian law, and all values ​​of humanity and human rights,” read an Egyptian Foreign Ministry statement.
Cairo vowed to hold Jerusalem “legally and morally responsible for this blatant attack, demanding that it comply with its obligations as an occupying power, and stop the indiscriminate targeting of Palestinian civilians, including the areas to which they have been displaced, and the wanton destruction.”
During the course of the operation, Hamas terrorists fired on the Israeli extraction team, including with RPGs, sparking a firefight and prompting them to call in airstrikes.
IDF Spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said the military had killed “under 100” Palestinians during the operation, including some civilians.
Jordan “condemned the brutal Israeli attack that…reflects the systematic targeting of Palestinian civilians, the Israeli persistence in violating international law and international humanitarian law, and continuing to commit crimes [during] the war.”
Amman accused Israel of committing “genocide” in Gaza, claiming the IDF of causing “unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe” there since Oct. 7. The Jordanian statement made no mention of Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre of 1,200 people.
Norway’s deputy foreign minister Andreas Motzfeldt Kravik took a similar stance to Borrell. In an initial response, he tweeted, “Four Israeli hostages are now free and safe, after 8 months in captivity. Norway shares the relief of their families and loved ones. We call for the immediate and unconditional release of all remaining hostages—now.”
However, in a follow-up tweet, he added, “Appalled by reports of another massacre of civilians in Gaza. Norway condemns attacks on civilians in the strongest terms.”
Norway is one of several countries that recently recognized a Palestinian state.
British Foreign Minister David Cameron said, “News of the rescue of four hostages will be a huge relief to their families. My thoughts also with families of those still captive, and all the innocent lives affected by the conflict.”
He called for a deal to bring about the release of the remaining hostages.
Sweden’s foreign minister Tobias Billström tweeted a photo taken during a recent trip to Israel, where he had met with the mother of Almog Meir, one of the hostages rescued on Saturday. He said he “share[s] the joy and relief of their families.”
Poland likewise expressed “joy at the release of four Israeli hostages who had been held since October 7th.”
They noted that Meir is a dual citizen of Poland and Israel.
Following Saturday’s successful mission, Israeli Prime Benjamin Netanyahu pledged: “I want to repeat and clarify—we will return everyone. Even now we are working on more returns, more options.”

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