Kenya condemns Hamas attack on Israel, calls for de-escalation of violence

President William Ruto. [Caleb Kingwara,Standard]

Kenya has condemned the deadly attack carried out by Hamas militants on Israel, resulting in the loss of at least 250 lives and injuries to 1,590 others on Saturday.

President William Ruto issued an unequivocal statement on Sunday, October 8, on X, denouncing terrorism and assaults on innocent civilians within the country.

Ruto also extended his condolences to the victims' families and wished a swift recovery to those who were injured.

He stressed that terrorism lacks justification and poses a significant threat to global peace and security,

At the same time, Ruto called for a de-escalation of violence and implored all parties to refrain from further military actions, recognizing their potential to exacerbate civilian suffering and heighten tensions within the region and beyond.

"We are deeply disturbed by the intentional targeting of civilians in this conflict, resulting in a growing number of casualties. Consequently, we call upon all parties to respect the rights of civilians and adhere to their international law obligations," he stated.

Ruto reaffirmed Kenya's solidarity with those advocating for a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

Ruto's statement comes amid a wave of violence in Israel and Gaza that commenced on Saturday when Hamas launched a coordinated attack, involving gunmen breaching security barriers and launching a barrage of rockets from Gaza.

This attack coincided with the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, exactly 50 years after Egypt and Syria launched an assault on Israel during the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur in 1973.

According to reports from Israeli media, Israel responded with airstrikes and artillery fire, targeting Hamas positions and infrastructure in Gaza.

The Israeli military reported intercepting the majority of rockets fired by Hamas, but some landed in residential areas, causing damage and casualties.

The United Nations, the US, the European Union, the African Union, and other nations have also condemned the Hamas attack and called for an end to hostilities.

They have expressed concerns about the humanitarian situation in Gaza, where over two million people live under a blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt.

The conflict between Israel and Hamas marks the latest escalation in a longstanding dispute over land, security, and rights.