ReactionsMain article: International reaction to the Gaza War See also: Antisemitic incidents during the Gaza War
While Israel defined its operation as a war against Hamas, Palestinian representatives and individuals, among others, viewed it as a "war on the Palestinian people".
The United Nations Security Council issued a statement on December 28, 2008, calling "for an immediate halt to all violence". The Arab League, the European Union and many nations made similar calls. On January 9, 2009, following an earlier, failed attempt at a ceasefire resolution, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1860 calling for "an immediate, durable and fully respected cease-fire" leading to a full Israeli withdrawal and an end to Gaza arms smuggling, by 14 votes to one abstention (the United States). The resolution was ignored by both Israel and Hamas.
Many governments expressed positions on the conflict, most condemning both belligerents, or neither of them. Thirty-four states, mostly members of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, condemned Israel's attacks exclusively. Three of them expressed support for Hamas' operations or defined them as falling within its right of resistance. Nineteen states, mostly members of the European Union, condemned Hamas' attacks exclusively. Thirteen of them expressed support for Israel's operations or defined them as falling within Israel's right to self-defense.
Bolivia, Jordan, Mauritania and Venezuela significantly downscaled or severed their relations with Israel in protest of the offensive.
The conflict saw worldwide civilian demonstrations for and against both sides.
The conflict triggered a wave of reprisal attacks against Jewish targets in Europe and elsewhere. The worldwide number of recorded antisemitic incidents during the conflict more than tripled the number of such incidents in the same period of the previous year, marking a two-decade high.
The British government reviewed its export licenses to Israel for violations of EU and national arms export control laws and revoked five export licenses for replacement parts and other equipment for Sa'ar 4.5 missile boats used by Israel because they were used in the Gaza offensive, although 16 export licenses for other British defense items to Israel were approved.
The conflict has been called the Gaza Massacre (Arabic: مجزرة غزة) in the Arab world. Khaled Mashal, Hamas' leader in Damascus called for suicide bombings. Ismail Haniyeh, Prime Minister of the Hamas government in Gaza, said: "Palestine has never witnessed an uglier massacre."
On December 28, 2008, a Palestinian laborer working in the Israeli settlement of Modi'in Illit struck his supervisor on the head with a sledehammer, stabbed and injured four civilians, and beat up several others. He was shot and severely wounded by an emergency response team member as he attempted to flee. His actions were suspected of being a reprisal for Israel's attack. The worker had been employed in the city for about 10 years with no previous trouble, but had spoken out against the war shortly before his rampage.
Read more about this topic: Gaza War
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