The Palestinian assault on Israel drew strong condemnation on Saturday from several world leaders, with the militant group Hamas, which controls Gaza, coming under intense criticism as many called for an immediate end to the violence.
“The United States unequivocally condemns the unprovoked attacks by Hamas terrorists against Israeli civilians,” Adrienne Watson, a spokeswoman for the U.S. National Security Council, said in a statement on Saturday.
That sentiment was echoed by European officials, who expressed alarm about the scale of the violence, particularly the civilian toll.
“Indiscriminate attacks by Hamas are causing deep suffering to the Israeli people,” Josep Borrell Fontelles, the European Union’s top diplomat, wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
Poland’s foreign minister, Zbigniew Rau, also denounced Hamas, as did the Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte.
Roberta Metsola, the president of the European Parliament, said she was “horrified” by the attacks. Britain’s prime minister, Rishi Sunak, said he was “shocked,” and Emmanuel Macron of France condemned “the current terrorist attacks against Israel.”
“Hamas are not ‘fighters.’ Hamas are not ‘militants.’ Hamas are terrorists,” Britain’s foreign secretary, James Cleverly, wrote on X.
But some were more measured in their tone.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, a NATO ally, urged “all parties” to act reasonably and to refrain from taking impulsive steps that would raise tensions in the volatile region.
In a statement, Egypt’s government called for “exercising maximum self-restraint to avoid bloodshed and protect lives.” But the statement also added that Israel should stop “attacks and provocative acts against the Palestinian people” and abide by international humanitarian law.
Dmitri A. Medvedev, the former Russian president and prime minister, who is now deputy chairman of President Vladimir V. Putin’s security council, blamed the new escalation in violence on the United States, which he said has been a “key player” in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
Instead of working to solve the conflict, he added, “these morons have interfered” to keep it going.