update deskIsrael at War

Czech prime minister: I’ll express ‘strong support’ for Israel to EU

My goal is to ensure the European Council confirms strong support for Israel's right to defend itself, Petr Fiala said.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv, Oct. 25, 2023. Photo by Avi Ohayon/GPO.
Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv, Oct. 25, 2023. Photo by Avi Ohayon/GPO.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala traveled to Israel on Wednesday to express his “clear support and solidarity” with the Jewish state amid its war against the Hamas terrorist group.

“October 7 was the most tragic day for Israel and Jewish people for decades,” Fiala told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv.

“I want to make it very clear: the Czech Republic stands with Israel, now and ever. And like 75 years ago, you can count on our voice and support,” he added.

For several months, Czechoslovakia supported the new Israel state with military aircraft and weapons. 

The Czech premier is scheduled to fly to Brussels on Thursday for a meeting of the European Council, which is responsible for defining the European Union’s overall political direction and priorities.

“My goal is to ensure that the council confirms the strong support for Israel and its right to defend itself. Hamas is our common enemy. We must ensure that it is isolated,” vowed Fiala.

“The Czech Republic has been very, very strongly supportive of Israel throughout good times and dark times,” Netanyahu told the Central European nation’s leader. “This is our darkest hour and I appreciate the fact that you are standing here.”

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer also paid a solidarity visit to Israel on Wednesday.

“As Austrian chancellor, I will do everything I can in order to fight antisemitism and to promote Jewish life, because ‘Never Again’ is now,” he said during a tête-à-tête with Israeli President Isaac Herzog in Tel Aviv.

“Israel has every right to defend itself in accordance with international law,” said Nehammer. “We must fight terror here and now with all our power and thereby prevent terror from spreading in your region and far beyond. To put it clearly, we must erase terror, and Austria stands by your side.”

Nehammer was scheduled to meet later on Wednesday with Netanyahu as well as the family of an Austrian-Israeli dual citizen held hostage by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas terrorists killed at least 1,400 Israelis and wounded more than 5,000 in a massive offensive launched from Gaza on Oct. 7, which included the firing of thousands of rockets at Israel and the infiltration of the Jewish state by terrorist forces.

At least 222 people were taken to Gaza as hostages, according to the IDF.

On Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Israel to express “full solidarity” with the Jewish state.

The French leader is pressing for the “preservation of the civilian population” in the Gaza Strip, halting the “colonization” of Judea and Samaria and the “resumption of a genuine peace process” to create a Palestinian state, according to his office.

“The only way to be useful is to one, show solidarity with Israel; two, make commitments against terrorist groups very clear; and three, to open up a political perspective,” said Macron.

He met with Netanyahu, Herzog and other top officials.

On Monday, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte arrived in Jerusalem for a day-long visit that included meetings with the family of a dual Dutch-Israeli citizen held captive by Hamas, as well as with Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas.

Earlier on Monday, Netanyahu hosted Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the Prime Minister’s Office.

On Saturday night, as Israel’s war against Hamas entered its third week, Netanyahu met separately in Tel Aviv with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides.

Last week, U.S. President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak all visited the Jewish state.

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