What is going on with Hamas and Israel?

Israel Defence Forces have conducted operations against Hamas fighters who infiltrated several towns. Hamas has reportedly taken as many as 100 Israelis hostage – both soldiers and civilians, alive and dead.

Palestine’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom Husam Zamlot says he hopes the latest fighting is a “wake up call” for the whole world that his people will continue to fight for their rights for as long as it takes.

“The Palestinian people aren’t going anywhere. The Palestinian people have the right to defend themselves,” he told Al Jazeera, adding they will struggle “for 100 years, and for another 100 if needs be”.

Zamlot added that Western nations need to understand giving Israel a “carte blanche” over international law, and trying to “bypass” the Palestinian issue will not bring peace.

“Israel’s occupation has got to end … and a Palestinian sovereign state with East Jerusalem as its capital must be established. Millions of Palestinian refugees have non-negotiable rights to return to their homes, properties, lands,” he added.

“How do we do this? Simply by equal application of international law.”

Jordan’s King Abdullah says there is a need to intensify diplomatic efforts to prevent escalating Israel-Palestinian violence with “dangerous repercussions” for the region’s security.

In comments made on state media, Abdullah said contacts with regional and international parties were underway to discuss “urgent international action to avoid an escalation and prevent the region from the consequences of a new round of violence.”

Pope Francis: ‘Pray for Israel and Palestine’

Pope Francis has called for “peace in Israel and in Palestine”, saying “terrorism and war do not lead to a solution”.

The pontiff called for an end to attacks.

“War is a defeat. All war is a defeat. Let us pray for peace in Israel and Palestine,” he said at St Peter’s Square in the Vatican.

“May the attacks and the weapons cease, I beg you,” he told crowds after his traditional Angelus prayer.

“Terrorism and war do not lead to a solution, but only to the death and suffering of many innocent people.”

Germany hikes protection of Israeli, Jewish institutions

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says Germany has increased the protection of Israeli and Jewish institutions in Germany.

Scholz told reporters in Berlin that Germany stands firm by Israel’s side and noted Israel had the right to defend itself against the “barbaric attacks” – although he warned against fuelling the conflict.

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