SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Thursday condemned Israel’s attack against Palestinians, as Gaza conflict intensifies with rocket barrages and airstrikes.
Kadhimi spoke by phone with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to show Iraq’s support for the Palestine’s government and people, according to his office.
Kadhimi renewed the “steadfast position of the Iraqi government and people towards the just cause of the Palestinian people,” his office said in a statement.
“Iraq … condemns in the strongest terms the Israeli attacks on our people in Palestine, whether in Jerusalem or in the Gaza Strip,” Kadhimi noted.
At least 83 people have been killed in Gaza since violence escalated on Monday, medics said, further straining hospitals already under heavy pressure during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Reuters.
Israel has prepared combat troops along the Gaza border and was in “various stages of preparing ground operations”, a military spokesman said, a move that would recall similar incursions during Israel-Gaza wars in 2014 and 2008-2009.
Hamas armed wing spokesman Abu Ubaida responded to the troop buildup with defiance, urging Palestinians to rise up.
“Mass up as you wish, from the sea, land and sky. We have prepared for your kinds of deaths that would make you curse yourselves,” he said.
U.S. President Joe Biden said he hoped fighting “will be closing down” sooner rather than later. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for an “urgent de-escalation” of violence.