Friday, 12 Aug 2022 - 15 of Av, 5782
EU

Gaza: EU calls for ‘maximum restraint’ on all sides in order ‘to avoid a further escalation and further casualties’

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‘’While Israel has the right to protect its civilian population, everything must be done to prevent a broader conflict, which would, first and foremost, affect the civilian populations on both sides and result in further casualties and more suffering,’’ the EU said.

Russia on Saturday also called “on all the parties involved to show maximum restraint.”

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in a tweet: “The UK stands by Israel and its right to defend itself.’’

The United States issued a statements voicing support for Israel’s defensive actions, while calling for calm.

Israel said that contrary to Palestinian reports, a failed rocket attack by Islamic Jihad was responsible for the killing of children in Jabalya.

”The IDF, ISA and the security forces will continue to operate against Islamic Jihad until we restore quiet and remove the threats to the children living in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip,” said Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad is on the EU list of terror groups.

‘’The European Union follows with great concern the latest developments in and around Gaza, where the ongoing escalation has already led to a number of casualties, with number of people killed, including civilians and a five year old Palestinian girl, and over 80 injured,’’ an EU spokesperson said Saturday in a statement.

‘’The EU calls for maximum restraint on all sides in order to avoid a further escalation and further casualties,’’ the statement said.

‘’While Israel has the right to protect its civilian population, everything must be done to prevent a broader conflict, which would, first and foremost, affect the civilian populations on both sides and result in further casualties and more suffering,’’ it said.

More than 380 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip into southern and central Israel since Friday night, hours after the IDF struck multiple terrorist targets in Gaza, killing a top Islamic Jihad terrorist leader as well as additional operatives.

Israel said it launched a pre-emptive operation against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group, named ”Operation Breaking Dawn”, as it was planning an imminent attack following days of tensions along the Gaza border.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad is on the EU list of terror groups.

Sirens were heard across a number of key Israeli cities as the rockets were fired at Yavne, Be’er Yaakov, Ashdod and Gaza-border communities. The IDF has been retaliating, striking additional targets said to be affiliated with Islamic Jihad terrorist infrastructure.

The targeting range was soon widened as rockets were fired toward the center of Israel including Rishon Lezion, Bat Yam and Holon. An hour later, more rockets were fired at Sderot, Ibim and Nir Am.

On Saturday evening, Islamic Jihad renewed rocket launches toward central Israel following a barrage on Gaza border communities with sirens sounding in Rishon Lezion, Holon, Bat Yam, Yavne and Tel Aviv.

Israel said that contrary to Palestinian reports, a failed rocket attack by Islamic Jihad was responsible for the killing of children in Jabalya. ”We have in our possession videos that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that this incident was not the result of an Israel Defense Forces’ strike. Israeli security forces did not strike in Jabalya in the past few hours,” stated the head of Israel’s publioc diplomacy directorate.

”Following reports in Palestinian and international media, an investigation took place which unequivocally showed that this was not an Israeli strike but rather, a rocket launched from within the Gaza Strip which fell in the heart of Jabalya. All fire by the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization is a double war crime: it is shooting at civilians, and using Gazan civilians as human shields,” it said, adding that ”this incident is an example of Islamic Jihad harming the residents of Gaza. All harm to innocent civilians is tragic.”

On Friday, Israeli  Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Israel ”carried out a precise counter-terror operation against an immediate threat.” ”Our fight is not with the people of Gaza.Islamic Jihad is an Iranian proxy that wants to destroy the State of Israel and kill innocent Israelis. The head of Islamic Jihad is in Tehran as we speak,” he said, adding that ”we will do whatever it takes to defend our people.”

“Whoever seeks to hurt Israeli citizens will be hurt,” said Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz. ”. The IDF, ISA and the security forces will continue to operate against Islamic Jihad until we restore quiet and remove the threats to the children living in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip,” he added.

Russia on Saturday also called “on all the parties involved to show maximum restraint.”

‘’We are observing with profound worry how events are evolving,” Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman said in a statement, adding that Moscow was calling “on all the parties involved to show maximum restraint.”

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in a tweet: “The UK stands by Israel and its right to defend itself.’’ “We condemn terrorist groups firing at civilians and violence which has resulted in casualties on both sides.”

“We call for a swift end to the violence,” she added.

The United States issued a statements voicing support for Israel’s defensive actions, while calling for calm.

US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides tweeted that “the United States firmly believes that Israel has a right to protect itself,” adding that Washington was “engaging with different parties and urge all sides for calm.”

A spokesperson for the White House National Security Council issued a similar message, urging “all sides for calm” while saying Israel was justified in defending itself.

 

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