PM speaks with Ban, Cameron, Merkel, Hollande, Harper — but not Obama
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PM speaks with Ban, Cameron, Merkel, Hollande, Harper — but not Obama

As government tries to bolster support for Gaza operation, some foreign ambassadors post supportive messages on social media

Raphael Ahren is the diplomatic correspondent at The Times of Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets British Prime Minister David Cameron at Netanyahu's office in Jerusalem on Wednesday, March 12, 2014. (Photo by Amit Shabi/POOL/Flash90)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets British Prime Minister David Cameron at Netanyahu's office in Jerusalem on Wednesday, March 12, 2014. (Photo by Amit Shabi/POOL/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has spoken to a host of world leaders since the launch of Operation Protective Edge, all of whom reiterated Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket attacks from Gaza. However, he had not spoken to US President Barack Obama as of early Thursday afternoon, Israel-time.

Since the recent conflagration with Gaza, Netanyahu has held phone conversations with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, officials said Thursday.

Netanyahu also spoke to US Secretary of State John Kerry, but has so far held no conversations with senior White House officials, including Obama or Mideast adviser Philip Gordon, an official in the Prime Minister’s Office said.

Gordon, a special adviser to Obama and the White House’s Middle East coordinator, was in Israel and the West Bank earlier this week. According to State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, Gordon met “with key decision makers on both sides.”

These included Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas; however, no meeting with Netanyahu was requested. “Gordon met with his opposite numbers from the Israeli national security team,”  the official said.

In Netanyahu’s conversations with world leaders, which were often but not always initiated by Jerusalem, the international community condemned Gaza rockets attacks and asserted Israel’s right to defend itself.

Cameron, for instance, “strongly condemned the appalling attacks being carried out by Hamas against Israeli civilians.” He assured Netanyahu of London’s “staunch support for Israel in the face of such attacks, and underlined Israel’s right to defend itself from them,” according to a statement his office released.

Canada’s Harper “reiterated Canada’s steadfast support for Israel and its right to defend itself against these terror attacks,” his official website states. He agreed with Netanyahu that “Hamas must end its targeted attacks on Israeli citizens.”

On Wednesday, Ottawa’s Foreign Minister John Baird tweeted messages of support for Israel adjacent to calls on the Palestinian government to act to end the rocket fire.

His ambassador in Israel, Vivian Bercovici, has been retweeting his messages and authored supportive tweets herself.

Australia’s ambassador in Tel Aviv, Dave Sharma, has been very active on Twitter, posting condemnations of rocket attacks on Israel and photos of his embassy staff in a shelter after missile attacks.

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