Sunday, 20 Jun 2021 - 10 of Tammuz, 5781
EU

EU Foreign Ministers to hold urgent talks on how to contribute to end the escalation between Israel and Hamas

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EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell held contacts with the Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi. He also exchanged views with key regional players.

‘’High Representative Borrell condemned Hamas’ and other groups’ indiscriminate firing of rockets against civilian targets in Israel.” ‘He stressed that ”while Israel has the right to protect its population from these kind of attacks, it must act proportionately and avoid civilian casualties.’’

European Union Foreign Ministers are to hold urgent video talks to discuss how the EU can best contribute to ending the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

“In view of the ongoing escalation between Israel and Palestine and the unacceptable number of civilian casualties, I am convening an extraordinary VTC of the EU Foreign Ministers on Tuesday,” EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell wrote Sunday on Twitter.

At the same time, the HRVP remains in close contact with Foreign Ministers of EU Member States in order to coordinate and discuss how the EU can best contribute to ending the current violence.

“In view of the ongoing escalation between Israel and Palestine and the unacceptable number of civilian casualties, I am convening an extraordinary VTC of the EU Foreign Ministers on Tuesday,” Josep Borrell wrote on Twitter Sunday.

“We will coordinate and discuss how the EU can best contribute to end the current violence.”

Borrell has held discussions earlier this week with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi. He also exchanged views with key regional players, including the foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan and Turkey, respectively Sameh Shoukry, Ayman Safadi and Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.

In all his contacts, ‘’High Representative Borrell condemned Hamas’ and other groups’ indiscriminate firing of rockets against civilian targets in Israel,’’ the EU’s external service said in a statement.

‘’The High Representative stressed that while Israel has the right to protect its population from these kind of attacks, it must act proportionately and avoid civilian casualties.’’

Borrel has instructed the EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process, Sven Koopmans, ‘’to work actively with other envoys from the Middle East Quartet to address the crisis,’’ the statement said.

On the ground, the EU Delegation in Tel Aviv and the EU Representation in Jerusalem are also engaging with the Israeli and Palestinian authorities and with Member States representatives, it said.

‘’The EU’s priority and message in this context remains clear: violence must end now. There is an urgent need to address the root causes of the conflict and to find a political pathway, which allows for a return to meaningful negotiations towards a two-state solution based on the internationally agreed parameters.  Both Israelis and Palestinians alike have the right to live in safety and security, freedom and democracy. These constant cycles of violence must be brought to an end.’’

During his contacts, Borrell underlined that the ‘’root causes that have led to this situation must be addressed.’’ ‘’The status quo of the holy sites needs to be respected and any acts of incitement around them avoided.’’

He also recalled the ‘’EU’s long-standing position on the need to cease settlement activities, demolitions and evictions, including in East Jerusalem.’’

In a tweet on Friday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wrote: ”Very concerned by the situation in Israel and Gaza. I condemn indiscriminate attacks by Hamas on Israel. Civilians on all sides must be protected. Violence must end now.”

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