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Greece Says Israel Has Right to Self-Defense, Condemns Hamas

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FM Dendias speaking to the press after meeting Israeli and Palestinian officials on Tuesday. Credit: Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Greece made its position clear on Tuesday about the conflict between Israel and Palestinians, through a statement by Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.

Dendias, in a visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories, said that Greece “condemns in the clearest way the firing of thousands of rockets by Hamas against Israel.”

Following meetings with officials of the Israeli government and the Palestinian authority he reiterated Greece’s position that “Israel, like every country in the world, has the right to self-defense.”

He urged that an initiative should take place to end the conflict.

“I made it clear that an immediate ceasefire is needed, protection of human rights, protection of human life. I condemned in the clearest way the firing of thousands of rockets by Hamas against Israel. It is an action absolutely and universally condemnable. I also said that Israel, like every country in the world, has the right to self-defense,” the Greek FM said.

Greece supports two-state solution

Dendias stressed that a solution to the conflict is two states as ruled by the UN Security Council.

“The solution we have to come up with is clear. It is the solution provided for by international law and the resolutions of the Security Council of the United Nations: two states on the 1967 border with Jerusalem as the capital of both states.”

Responding to a journalist question about the current situation in Gaza, Dendias said “I think that the humanitarian situation in Gaza is absolutely problematic and we need to do everything we can to help. But I repeat, Hamas is absolutely doomed to launch thousands of rockets against civilians.”

Referring to Turkey’s role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the FM said “What I have to say is that inflammatory statements and unilateral attitudes in a particularly sensitive situation, in a particularly sensitive area do not help.”

Israel and Palestinian groups exchange fire

Israel’s nine-day bombardment of Gaza has “set Hamas back by many years,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said.

Israel and Palestinian militant groups in Gaza again exchanged fire overnight into the early hours of Wednesday.

At least 215 people, including almost 100 women and children, have been killed in Gaza so far, according to its health ministry.

In Israel 12 people, including two children, have been killed, its medical service says.

On Tuesday Israel said at least 150 militants were among those killed in Gaza. Hamas does not give casualty figures for fighters.

Diplomatic efforts to end the violence have met with little success.

France has filed a draft resolution with the UN Security Council, in co-ordination with Egypt and Jordan, calling for a ceasefire.

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