Middle East crisis talks: Israel will act against Hamas terror, Cohen tells FMs

In conversations with the Turkish and Bahraini foreign ministers, Cohen stressed that Israel has made an effort to prevent an escalation.

 Palestinian militants attend Hamas rally Solidarity with Al-Aqsa in Jabalia, northern Gaza April 7, 2023 (photo credit: REUTERS/AARAFAT BARBAKH)
Palestinian militants attend Hamas rally Solidarity with Al-Aqsa in Jabalia, northern Gaza April 7, 2023
(photo credit: REUTERS/AARAFAT BARBAKH)

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen held a round of conversations with top diplomats from nations across the Middle East in an attempt to calm regional tensions amid clashes on Temple Mount, as well as barrages of rocket launches at Israel from the Gaza Strip and Lebanon.

The IDF will respond to any attempt to terrorize Israeli civilians, Cohen told his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on Friday, in a message also intended for Israel's neighbors across the Middle East, the Foreign Ministry said.

"Israel has made an effort to avoid an escalation, but will not hesitate to act against terrorist organizations working to stir up tensions in the region," Cohen told his Turkish counterpart, adding that Israel sees Hamas as responsible for the recent violence on Temple Mount, as well as for the rockets launched from both the Gaza Strip and Lebanon.

Likud MK Eli Cohen Federation of Local Authorities conference in Tel Aviv, December 8, 2022. (credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90)Likud MK Eli Cohen Federation of Local Authorities conference in Tel Aviv, December 8, 2022. (credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90)

Later on Friday, Cohen spoke to Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, with the two discussing efforts to halt the escalation of tension and violence.

Cohen reiterated that Hamas is responsible for the violence in all theaters, stressing that Israel will continue to act with the intention of resuming the calm. However, Israel will strike against "Iranian-funded terrorist organizations, in case the terror and violence continue," Cohen told his Bahraini counterpart.