Bulgarian Foreign Ministry concerned by violence in Gaza, condemns attacks on Israeli territory

The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said on November 13 that it was seriously concerned by the dangerous spread of violence in the Gaza Strip area and strongly condemned massive rocket and missile bombing against Israeli territory, which has resulted in civilian casualties and damage.

“We call on both sides to refrain from actions that would lead to a further escalation of the conflict,” the Foreign Ministry in Sofia said.

“We support the mediation efforts aimed at normalizing the situation. We reaffirm Bulgaria’s principle position that a solution to the Middle East conflict can only be achieved peacefully through negotiations between the parties.”

Nikolai Mladenov, UN Special Envoy for the Middle East Peace Process and a Bulgarian former foreign minister, said that work was being done with Egypt and all concerned to ensure that Gaza steps back from the brink.

“The escalation in the past 24 hours is extremely dangerous and reckless,” Mladenov said on Twitter. “Rockets must stop, restraint must be shown by all! No effort should be spared to reverse the spiral of violence”.

The Voice of America reported on November 13 that “Israel’s military carried out airstrikes overnight in the Gaza Strip in response to what it said were hundreds of rockets fired by militants at Israel”.

The Israeli Defense Forces said on November 13 that its fighter jets “have been striking Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror targets throughout Gaza” and that “Hamas will bear the consequences of its actions.”

Israeli medical services reported one person was killed during the barrage of rockets that started Monday afternoon. The military put the total number of rockets launched from Gaza at 370, with 100 of them intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defence system.

On the Palestinian side of the border, officials say the Israeli airstrikes killed three people, including two militants, and wounded nine others.

Israeli warplanes also destroyed the premises of Hamas’s Al-Aqsa Television. Staff at the office evacuated before the attack following a warning by Israel’s military.

The United States condemned Hamas for the violence. “We stand with Israel as it defends itself against these attacks,” US envoy Jason Greenblatt tweeted, VOA reported. “This violence prevents any real help for the people of Gaza.”

(Screenshot, of an Israeli civilian bus destroyed in the missile attacks, from the Facebook page of the IDF)



The Sofia Globe staff

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