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Libya Parliament Orders Out Diplomats of Countries Supporting Israel

FILE - Libyan Parliament meet to discuss approving new government, in Sirte, Libya March 8, 2021.
FILE - Libyan Parliament meet to discuss approving new government, in Sirte, Libya March 8, 2021.

TRIPOLI — Libya's Tripoli-based parliament on Wednesday demanded the departure of ambassadors from countries that "support" Israel as it fights Hamas militants in Gaza, taking specific aim at the United States, Britain, France and Italy.

In a statement published on its official website, the eastern-based parliament — backed by military strongman Khalifa Haftar in Libya, threatened to cut energy supplies if "massacres" against Palestinians did not stop.

"We demand that the ambassadors of the states which support the Zionist entity (Israel) in its crimes leave the territory (of Libya) immediately," the statement said.

"If the massacres committed by the Zionist enemy do not stop, we demand that the Libyan government suspend the export of oil and gas to the states that support it," it added.

The parliament denounced "in the strongest terms" the actions of "the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Italy."

It said these nations "support the Zionist entity in its crimes" in the Gaza Strip, while their leaders "lecture on human rights and the right of peoples to self-determination."

The United States, along with Britain, France, Italy and other Western nations have maintained support of Israel, condemning the October 7 attack.

Israel has been bombarding the Gaza Strip since October 7, when Hamas launched the attack that Israeli officials say killed 1,400 people, mostly civilians.

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza says that Israel's strikes have killed more than 6,500 Palestinians, also mainly civilians.

Libyans have rallied across the country in solidarity with Palestinians since the latest war broke out, particularly following a deadly hospital blast in Gaza on October. 17, which Hamas has blamed on Israel. The Israeli military said the explosion was caused by a misfired Palestinian rocket.

Speaking at the Wednesday at a White House news conference with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, U.S. President Joe Biden said he was redoubling his commitment to working on a two-state solution to end the decades-long Israel-Palestinian conflict.

"Israelis and Palestinians equally deserve to live side by side in safety, dignity and peace,” Biden said, adding, "When this crisis is over, there has to be a vision of what comes next. And in our view, it has to be a two-state solution."

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include international support for Israel from the United States, and other Western allies, including Britain, France and Italy. Some information in this report came from The Associated Press.