Japan, Egypt and Jordan have issued statements condeming the latest series of Israeli assaults on the Palestinian community. PLO member Saeb Erekat has described the ongoing Israeli offensive against Gaza as an ‘all-out, systematic war against the national project and national reconciliation.’The Government of Japan, according to WAFA, has expressed grave concern over the recent escalation of violence between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

Via press release from Japan’s representative office:

‘Japan is deeply concerned about the situation in which the Israeli Air Force strike has caused civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip and strongly condemns rocket attacks by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip against Israel.’

The country has urged both Israel and Palestinian militants to exercise maximum restraint and prevent the further escalation of violence and civilian casualties.

The release further stated, ‘Japan is convinced that the issues of Middle East peace can never be solved through violence but only through negotiations and efforts to build mutual trust among parties to the conflict. Japan calls for all the parties concerned to make the utmost efforts to that end.’

Ambassador Badr Abdel-Ati, spokesman for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, stressed the importance of the international community’s role in taking serious and concrete steps to stop all military operations, ensuring a resumption of negotiations based on a specific time frame and enforcing UN Security Council resolutions.

The ambassador asked both Palestinian-Israeli sides, to commit to the 2012 truce, stating that Egypt is making intensive efforts in cooperation and coordination with all regional and international parties to prevent the shedding of more civilian blood.

Gaza has been under a severe economic blockade imposed by Israel since 2006, leading to frequent humanitarian crises. With Egyptian backing, Israel tightened the blockade in 2007, following a political victory by Hamas.

The country is to open the Rafah Border Terminal, on Thursday, exclusively for transfering wounded Palestinians.

WAFA further reports that, according to a report published by the Jordanian News Agency ‘Petra’, government spokesman and Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communication, Mohammad al-Momani, has strongly rejected any justifications for the recent Israeli attacks, demanding Israel cease its operations immediately and refrain from any escalation and incitement.

Al-Momani also demanded the international community, as well, to intervene in stopping Israeli encroachment on Palestinians.

He warned of repercussions for the brutal Israeli assaults and stressed the need for a return to negotiations that lead to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

Momani emphasized the fact that Israel’s practices are in violation of international humanitarian law and are inconsistent with international efforts to advance the peace process between the Palestinians and Israelis, further calling for a de-escalation to prevent any further suffering of the besieged Gaza Strip.

Member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Saeb Erekat, described the ongoing Israeli offensive as an ‘all-out, systematic war against the national project and national reconciliation’, stating that the government of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is attempting to separate Gaza from the ‘national project’ and the state of Palestine.

‘Our response to the Israeli campaign will be through our unity and through our united positions,’ said Erekat on Wednesday.

‘We assure that this plan is previously prepared, but the Palestinian leadership will make this plan a failure.’