Czech leaders condemn attacks in Israel; Netanyahu's visit to Prague cancelled

Israel is at war following a surprise attack by Hamas, says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has cancelled his visit to Prague next week.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 07.10.2023 12:07:00 (updated on 09.10.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

A planned joint meeting between Czech leaders and the Israeli government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, scheduled for Monday in Prague, will not take place due to the current situation in Israel, according to Czech government spokesman Václav Smolka.

Early this morning, Palestinian militants launched a significant attack on Israel, with the militant group Hamas claiming responsibility. Israel has subsequently declared a state of war.

"Intergovernmental talks between the Czech and Israeli governments, initially planned for Monday, Oct. 9 in Prague, will not proceed due to the terrorist attacks against Israel and the subsequent declaration of a state of war in the country," Smolka told Czech media this morning.

On social media, Czech leaders have been quick to condemn the attacks in Israel.

"The attack conducted from the Gaza Strip is a reprehensible act of terrorism against the State of Israel and the civilian population," writes Czech President Petr Pavel. "Rocket attacks and the infiltration of Hamas commandos into Israel will block any efforts for a peaceful solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict for a long time."

"This aggressive action will necessarily provoke a harsh and justified reaction from Israel, which will result in many victims. The way to settle any problem does not lead through aggressive armed actions, but must be sought at the negotiation table and with a large amount of good will."

Prime Minister Petr Fiala reaffirmed the Czech Republic's longstanding support for Israel's pursuit of peace and security. "I condemn the terrorist attacks on Israel," Fiala writes. "My thoughts are with the innocent victims of the violence. I wish our friends in Israel the swiftest possible handling of the situation and the fulfillment of their ambitions to live in peace and security. The Czech Republic has always stood and will stand fully with Israel."

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The Czech and Israeli governments were set to discuss current affairs and bilateral cooperation on Monday. Netanyahu was scheduled to hold talks with Czech President Petr Pavel and meet with the speakers of both houses of the Czech parliament.

Hamas military commander in Gaza, Mohammad Deif, announced a military operation against Israel today, urging all Palestinians and gunmen in neighboring Lebanon to join the conflict.

He claimed that 50 rockets were fired at Israel this morning, and there were reports of Palestinian gunmen infiltrating Israeli territory, leading to street fighting. The Israeli army has declared a state of war and its intent to defend itself.

"Citizens of Israel. We are at war, not an operation, not an escalation, a war," Netanyahu announced this morning as Israel's army retaliated against Hamas military targets with missile strikes in Gaza City.

"This morning Hamas launched a murderous surprise attack against the state of Israel and its citizens. The enemy will pay a price he has never known. In the meantime, I call on all citizens of Israel to strictly obey the instructions of the army and the instructions of the Home Command," Netanyahu said, adding "We are in a war and we will win it."

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