“You are wonderful friends of Israel. You stood by us now against this cynical decision that was promoted in the EU in the Council of Ministers. We’re very, very grateful that we have great friends and you are among them, right at the top of the list,” declared Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he met Tuesday with visiting Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto.
Netanyahu was referring to a meeting of the 27 EU Foreign Ministers, two weeks ago, during which Hungary was the sole member state to refuse to sign up to a statement on the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto then slammed what he called the EU’s “one-sided” statements. “I have a general problem with these European statements on Israel. These are usually very much one-sided, and these statements do not help, especially not under current circumstances, when the tension is so high,” he said.
In an interview with i24news in Jerusalem, Szijjarto explained his country’s defiant position which blocked the publication of a statement which requires the unanimity of the Foreign Affairs Council.
‘’I regret that we couldn’t have a unified position on the description and the definition of the foundation of the situation. For us the basic is that Israel has been attacked by a terrorist organisation. And if you’re attacked by a terrorist organisation, you have to protect yourself. This was not agreed upon,’’ the Hungarian minister said.
‘’Unfortunately even the fact that Israel was attacked by a terrorist organisation was challenged and we weren’t able to speak univocally about the right of Israel to protect itself. With this in mind, it was impossible to sign up to this document. We have called on our colleagues to agree on the basic description but since this was impossible, we couldn’t come to a common conclusion either. That’s why we vetoed the resolution. ‘’
The EU statement put as a priority a call for an immediate cessation of all hostilities and for the implementation of a ceasefire ”in order to protect civilians, and give full humanitarian access in Gaza.” It calls the high number of deaths and wounded, including children and women, ‘’unacceptable,’’ condemns the indiscriminate rocket attacks by Hamas and other terrorist groups on the Israeli territort Israel and ”fully supports Israel’s right to self-defence ‘’in a proportional manner and in respecting international humanitarian law.’’