NATO urges Israel to respond with ‘proportionality’ in Gaza

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This photograph taken on October 12, 2023, shows a general view during a meeting of the North Atlantic Council Defence Ministers’ Session at the NATO’s headquarters in Brussels. (Photo by SIMON WOHLFAHRT / AFP)

NATO countries on Thursday told Israel’s defence minister they stood by his country after the attack by Hamas, but urged his forces to respond with “proportionality”, the alliance said.

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant briefed his counterparts from the US-led military alliance via videolink as his country’s military carries out a bombing campaign after Islamist militants killed over 1,200 people, mostly civilians.

“Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that NATO condemned the terrorist attacks in the strongest possible terms, adding: ‘Israel does not stand alone’,” NATO said in a statement. “Allies expressed solidarity with Israel, making clear that it has the right to defend itself with proportionality against these unjustifiable acts of terror.”

NATO countries “called for Hamas to immediately release all hostages, and for the fullest possible protection of civilians. Allies also made clear that no nation or organisation should seek to take advantage of the situation or to escalate it.”

The statement added that “a number of NATO allies made clear that they are providing practical support to Israel as it continues to respond to the situation”.

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