World leaders welcome ceasefire between Hamas, Israel

World leaders welcome Egyptian-mediated ceasefire between Hamas, Israel
3 min read
World leaders from the United States, China, Russia and elsewhere have welcomed the Hamas-Israel truce while also looking towards the future.
The ceasefire comes after over 200 Palestinians died in Israeli bombing in Gaza [Abed Rahim Khatib/Anadolu Agency/Getty]

World leaders and top diplomats welcomed an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire between Israel and Hamas that went into force on Friday, while urging a long-term political solution.

Here are reactions from around the world:

European Union

The EU welcomed the ceasefire and insisted that working toward a "two-state solution" was the only viable option.

"We are appalled and regret the loss of life over these past 11 days," EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement. 

"As the EU has consistently reiterated, the situation in the Gaza Strip has long been unsustainable."

Russia

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said while Moscow was satisfied with the truce, more needed to be done.

"This is an important but still insufficient step," she said.

"In order to avoid a resumption of violence, we must double international and regional efforts on relaunching direct political negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians."

China

Beijing welcomed the truce and said the international community now needed to "extend helping hands" to the region.

It said it would commit $1 million in emergency aid and a further $1 million to UN relief efforts for the Palestinians.

"The international community should promote the resumption of peace talks between Palestine and Israel, and achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Palestine issue on the basis of the two-state solution," foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters.

United States

President Joe Biden said the ceasefire marks a "genuine opportunity" for peace. 

"I believe we have a genuine opportunity to make progress and I'm committed to working toward it," Biden said at the White House, highlighting Egypt's role in brokering the truce.

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Germany

"Good that there is now a ceasefire," Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tweeted, a day after he visited Israel and Ramallah, Palestine for talks. 

"Now we have to deal with the causes, rebuild trust and find a solution to the Middle East conflict."

Britain

Britain called on all sides to the conflict to ensure the ceasefire is lasting.

"All sides must work to make the ceasefire durable and end the unacceptable cycle of violence and loss of civilian life," UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Twitter, adding that Britain supports "efforts to bring about peace".

France

France welcomed the ceasefire but said the violence underscored the need for a relaunch of the peace process.

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned that barring negotiations, "cycles of violence will be repeated".

Hezbollah

Lebanon's Iran-backed militant group Hezbollah, which has close ties with the Islamist movement Hamas, said the ceasefire marked a "historic victory".

"Hezbollah congratulates the heroic Palestinian people and its valiant resistance on the historic victory achieved... against the Zionist enemy," the Shiite group said in a statement.