Israel's Arab Neighbors Condemn Gaza Offensive

Jordan and Iran are among the Arab nations demanding Israel call off its offensive in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
Posted at 8:17 AM, Jul 09, 2014

​Israel has stepped up its air offensive — bombing more than 100 targets overnight. (Via Getty Images

This video purports to show the aftermath of the Israel airstrikes on the Hamas-run Gaza strip. (Via RT)  

This, as the militant group continues with its heavy rocket fire into Israel — for the first time, reaching as far as the northern  city of Hadera. (Via Euronews)

This video shows the chaos that ensued when a rocket exploded over a wedding in southern Israel and guests had to run to nearby shelters. (Via Israeli Defense Forces)

The latest round of violence marks the heaviest fighting between Israel and Hamas since a week-long bloody battle in November 2012 which ended in a cease-fire. (Via Al Arabiya

The current climate had President Obama penning an op-ed in Haaretz published Tuesday — urging both sides to find a peaceful, two-state solution.

While the U.S. has urged both Israel and Hamas to exercise restraint, Israel’s Arab neighbors have been more direct, blaming Israel in no uncertain terms. 

Jordan called for an immediate halt to what it calls Israel’s “barbaric aggression.” It’s worth noting, Jordan’s one of only two Arab countries to have signed a peace treaty with Israel. (Via Samaa

The second — Egypt — has also denounced Israel’s latest raid on Gaza. (Via Al Ahram

Those statements came on the heels of Turkey’s foreign minister calling on Israel to stop what he referred to as “collective punishment.” (Via Getty Images

And, though less surprising, similar comments from Iran’s foreign ministry. As Al Arabiya notes, Iran’s historically been an ally of Hamas.

For its part, Israel says it's been left with no alternative but to launch an open-ended military offensive to eliminate the militant group's capabilities. Here's how an IDF spokesperson put it to the BBC. (Via Getty Images

PETER LERNER: “We were voicing our concerns last week and we made them clear to everybody, especially Hamas that what we want to do is deescalate the situation ...  We received a response in the form of over 80 rockets.”

On Tuesday, the Arab League demanded the U.N. Security Council hold an urgent meeting to discuss Israel’s air raids.