The blue and white Israeli flag flew over official buildings in Austria on Friday as a sign of “solidarity” with the Jewish state, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said.
“I strongly condemn the attacks against Israel from the Gaza Strip,” the conservative leader said in a statement sent to AFP.
“Israel has the right to defend itself against these attacks. To show our solidarity… we raised the Israeli flag, ”added the Chancellery and the Foreign Ministry.
“There is no justification for the more than 1,000 rockets that Hamas and other terrorist groups have fired so far at Israel from Gaza,” Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said.
“We strongly support the security of Israel. “
In 2000, when the far-right FPOe – a party founded by former Nazis – joined the coalition government, Israel recalled its ambassador from Vienna in protest.
It took three years for the links to return to normal.
When Kurz took over a new coalition government with the FPOe in December 2017, he made improving relations with Israel a priority.
However, Israel refused to have any contact with far-right ministers, who eventually returned to opposition in May 2019.
Austria is now ruled by the Conservatives in alliance with the Greens and in March Israeli President Reuven Rivlin paid an official visit to Vienna.
The capital is home to a major UN site and is currently hosting international negotiations to try to save the Iran nuclear deal.
In the United States, Republicans on Thursday stepped up pressure on President Joe Biden to end the talks as Iran’s ally Hamas fires rockets at Israel.
Israel shelled Gaza with artillery and airstrikes on Friday following another barrage of rockets from the Hamas-ruled enclave, escalating a conflict that has left more than 120 dead.
The most intense fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza since 2014 has been accompanied by an unprecedented outbreak of violence between Jews and Arabs inside Israel.
© 2021 AFP