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EU statement: Rocket firing against Israel ‘is unacceptable’

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As Thursday witnessed mass rocket barrages on Israel from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group in the Gaza Strip, the European Unionurged an ‘’immediate comprehensive ceasefire which will end Israeli military operations in Gaza and current rocket firing against Israel which is unacceptable.’’

‘’International humanitarian law must be respected.

‘’The EU is  deeply concerned by the grave escalation of violence in recent days in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory,’’ a statement said.

‘’The EU is deeply alarmed by this new round of violence and the deteriorating security situation in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel, and by on-going developments in and around Gaza, which has claimed unacceptable civilian casualties including children,’’ the statement added.

‘’International humanitarian law must be respected.’’

The EU said it subscribes fully to the joint declaration of the “Munich group” issued in Berlin, where it was represented. In particular, the EU commends the efforts of Egypt to bring about an immediate ceasefire.

‘’The EU will continue to work with all parties to restore a political horizon for the two-sates solutions and the stability of the region,’’ the statement concluded.

An Israeli man was killed when a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck a four-story building in Rehovot, 12 miles (around 19 km) south of Tel Aviv, on Thursday evening. The unidentified man’s body was reportedly found under the rubble.

It is the first Israeli fatality since the start of “Operation Shield and Arrow” against Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip. Five other people were wounded in the rocket attack.

The Israel Air Force on Thursday afternoon killed a fifth PIJ terrorist leader since the start of “Operation Shield and Arrow.” Ahmed Abu-Deka, a senior member of the Islamic Jihad rocket-aunching force, was targeted.

As of 2:30 p.m., the Israel Defense Forces reported that Gaza terrorists had fired 547 rockets and mortar shells at Israel since Tuesday morning. Out of these 547 launches, 394 projectiles crossed into Israeli territory and 124 fell short in Gaza. Four Palestinian civilians, including a 10-year-old girl, were killed by the failed rocket launches, according to the IDF.

Israeli aerial defenses intercepted 175 rockets on their way to populated areas.

The IDF said it targeted 166 terrorist sites in the Gaza Strip since the start of the military operation.


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