The EU ‘’deeply regrets the loss of civilian lives, including children’’ and calls ‘’for the respect of international humanitarian law.’’ ‘’Civilian lives must be protected under all circumstances.,’’ it said in a statement.
The European Union said Tuesday it is ‘’gravely concerned’’ by the escalation in Gaza following today’s Israeli air raids.
Israel on Tuesday was making preparations for rocket attacks and the threat of a wider conflict following the air force’s targeted killing of three top Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders in strikes across the Gaza Strip in the morning.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) identified the targets of the operation as Khalil Bahitini, PIJ’s commander in northern Gaza; Jahed Ahnam, a senior member of the terror group’s military council; and Tarek Azaldin, who directs its activities in Judea and Samaria.
Israel also struck 10 sites in Gaza belonging to PIJ, including weapons manufacturing facilities and depots.
“The strikes targeted senior figures responsible for rocket fire from Gaza in recent months and who were involved in organizing additional attacks on Israelis, including in Judea and Samaria,” said IDF spokesperson Brig. Gen. Daniel Hagari, adding: “Those who endanger Israeli lives, and those who work tirelessly to harm Israel’s security, will not remain unharmed.”
An EU statement said it ‘’deeply regrets the loss of civilian lives, including children’’ and called ‘’for the respect of international humanitarian law.’’ ‘’Civilian lives must be protected under all circumstances.,’’ it said.
The EU urged ‘’all parties to exercise maximum restraint, promote calm and work towards a political horizon and regional stability in line with the commitments in the Aqaba and Sharm el Sheikh declarations.’’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyanu said the three PIJ senior Islamic Jihad killed in the IDF-ISA operation “are arch-murdererswho were responsible for firing rockets from the Gaza Strip at our territory and for directing terrorism from Judea and Samaria against our citizens.’’
‘’Our principle is clear. Whoever harms us – we will strike at them and with great force. Our long arm will reach every terrorist at a time and place of our choosen,’’ he added at the start of a security cabinet meeting.