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EU strongly condemns indiscriminate Hamas rockets on Israel and use of Palestinian population as human shields, ‘terrorist groups in Gaza must disarm’, calls for ‘immediate ceasefire’'

Written by Yossi Lempkowicz
  
Tuesday, 22 July 2014 16:20
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BRUSSELS (EJP)---The European Union on Tuesday strongly condemned ‘’the indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israel by Hamas and militant groups in the Gaza Strip, directly harming civilians.’’

‘’These are criminal and unjustifiable acts,’’ the EU said in a statement published after a meeting of the 28 EU Foreign Ministers in Brussels.

The EU called on Hamas ‘’to immediately put an end to these acts and to renounce violence’’ and said ‘’all terrorist groups in Gaza must disarm.’’

The EU also strongly condemned ‘’calls on the civilian population of Gaza to provide themselves as human shields.’’

At a press conference after the ministerial meeting, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said all ministers recognized ‘’Israel's legitimate right to defend itself against any attacks’’ but the EU statement underlines that the Israeli military operation “must be proportionate and in line with international humanitarian law.’’

The EU called for an ‘’immediate cessation of the hostilities based on a return to the November 2012 ceasefire agreement’’, welcoming on-going efforts by regional partners, and in particular by Egypt, and reiterating its readiness ‘’to provide the necessary support to this end.’’ ‘’The EU calls on all sides to implement in good faith an immediate cease fire.’’

‘’We are in contact with several parties in the region, including US Secretary of State John Kerry (who is Egypt),’’ Ashton said.

The EU also ‘’condemned the loss of hundreds of civilian lives, among them many women and children’’ and stressed the ‘’need for protection of civilians at all times.’’

The statement dde: ‘’The EU is particularly appalled by the human cost of the Israeli military operation in Shuja’iyya, and is deeply concerned at the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation. All sides must meet their obligations and immediately allow safe and full humanitarian access in Gaza for the urgent distribution of assistance.

The EU said the escalation of hostilities ‘’confirms again the unsustainable nature of the status quo with regard to the situation in the Gaza Strip.’’

‘’While fully recognizing Israel's legitimate security needs, the EU underlines that the humanitarian and socio-economic situation in Gaza must be addressed. It reiterates its call for the immediate, sustained and unconditional opening of crossings for the flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons to and from the Gaza Strip, in line with UNSC resolution 1860 (2009),’’ the statement said.

The EU said it is ready to reactivate the EUBAM Rafah mission ‘’if conditions allow’’ and ‘’to contribute to a comprehensive and sustainable solution meeting the legitimate security, economic and humanitarian needs of Israelis and Palestinians. ‘’

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 July 2014 16:27
 

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