The Korea Herald


Seoul condemns Hamas’ attack on Israel

No S. Korean victims reported in Israel fighting: Foreign Ministry

By Park Jun-hee

Published : Oct. 8, 2023 - 14:25

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A man carries a crying child as he walks in front of a building destroyed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza City on Saturday (local time). (AFP-Yonhap) A man carries a crying child as he walks in front of a building destroyed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza City on Saturday (local time). (AFP-Yonhap)

The South Korean Foreign Ministry said Sunday that no Korean injuries or deaths have been reported so far from the fighting in Israel that erupted Saturday.

There are currently 570 Korean residents in Israel -- 290 in Jerusalem, Israel’s capital, 210 in central areas including Tel Aviv and 70 in other regions. There are also thought to be some 360 Korean tourists in the country, according to the ministry. The ministry advised Korean residents and travelers to evacuate to a third country if possible.

The Palestinian militants in Gaza fired a barrage of rockets and sent fighters across the border toward central and southern Israel during a major Jewish holiday on early Saturday morning (local time), claiming the lives of more than 300 people and leaving at least 1,860 people injured, Israel’s emergency rescue service and Health Ministry confirmed, making it the deadliest attack in Israel since the Yom Kippur War 50 years ago.

Following the bloodshed, South Korea strongly condemned the unprecedented attack by gunmen from the Palestinian group Hamas in Israel as the long-running conflict between the two countries erupted again.

“The government strongly condemns the indiscriminate attacks against Israel from the Gaza Strip, including (Palestine’s) rocket attacks. We urge an immediate end (to such attacks and the use of violence),” the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a commentary.

The spokesperson added that the South Korean government is deeply concerned about the steep rise in civilian casualties from the attacks and that the government extends its condolences to the victims and their bereaved families.

The Israeli military said about 2,200 rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel, while armed terror groups intruded into its territory by land, sea and air in paragliders. Israel responded with a retaliatory strike to the bloodshed, killing more than 250 in Gaza. The attack continued into the night. It added that Hamas had taken hostages and prisoners of war but did not give an exact figure.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war after the attack by the Palestinian militant group, saying the country would take “mighty vengeance for this wicked day.” He has also ordered strikes on Gaza and called for an extensive reserve mobilization.