Several other European leaders, including European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides.
Reports said that French President Emmanuel Macron might also visit next week but no date has been set yet.
An EU senior official said a visit to Israel by EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell ‘’is always on the table. It depends on the opportunity but we have no date.’’
EU Foreign Ministers meet Monday in Luxembourg to debate the situation in Israel
‘’We defend the right of Israel existing, of defending itself, security for its people. And we absolutely understand that terrorism has to be fought. We believe and we think that you are able to do that in the best way, for we are different from those terrorists,’’ said Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni as she was the latest European leader to visit Israel on Saturday.
‘’I felt it was very important to come personally to bring the solidarity of the Italian government and the Italian people, and to tell you that we saw images that were incredible about what happened two weeks ago,’’ she said.
‘’ That showed something more than simply, well, a war. They showed somebody who wants to cancel Jewish people from this region. And it is up to antisemitism. That is something we have to fight yesterday and today,’’ she added after a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Kyria in Tel Aviv. She also met with President Isaac Herzog.
‘’Thank you for coming here and for standing with Israel. We always say there’s one thing better than standing with Israel. It’s standing in Israel,’’ Netanyahu told Meloni.
‘’We have to defeat this barbarism. This is a battle between the forces of civilization and really, monstrous barbarians who murdered, mutilated, raped, beheaded, burned innocent people, babies, grandmothers.’’
‘’This is a test, a test of civilization and we will win. And we expect all the countries that lined up to fight ISIS, to line up and fight Hamas, because Hamas is the new ISIS,’’ he added.
Several other European leaders, including European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Parliament Presidnet Roberta Metsola, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides.
Reports said that French President Emmanuel Macron might also visit next week but no date has been set yet. The French leader has been a staunch supporter of Israel since the Hamas attacks left over 1,400 Israelis killed and 210 hostages kidnapped and taken to Gaza. He said earlier this week that he would like such a visit to allow him ”to obtain humanitarian and diplomatic achievements.”
A EU senior official said a visit to Israel by EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell ‘’is always on the table. It depends on the opportunity but we have no date.’’
Israel’s ambassador tot the EU and NATO, Haim Regev, stressed Tursday that ‘’we have good contacts with Borrell who spoke with Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen.’’
‘’European Council President Charles Michel may also come, as any other leader who supports Israel,” the ambassador added.
”We are not asking Europe for money or military aid, we ask to understand what is happening and continue to support us,” he told the EU correspondents in Brussels.
EU Foreign Ministers are to meet Monday in Luxembourg to debate the situation in Israel and in the region.
Last Thursday, the European Parliament overwhelmingly adopted an unprecedented resolution recognizing Israel’s ‘’inherent right to self-defense ‘’condemning ‘’in the strongest possible terms, the despicable terrorists attacks committed by the terrorist group Hamas against Israel, ‘’expressing its support for the State of Israel and its people and ‘’reiterating that the terrorist organisation Hamas needs to be eliminated.’’
The resolution also called for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages who have been taken by the terrorist group Hamas and for the bodies of deceased hostages to be returned.?
US-EU joint statement
In a joint statement issued after a US-EU summit meeting in Washington on Friday, EU and US leaders ‘’condemned in the strongest possible terms Hamas and its brutal terrorist attacks across Israel.’’
‘’There is no justification for terrorism. We affirm Israel’s right to defend itself against these heinous attacks, in line with international law, including international humanitarian law. We will work closely with partners in the region to stress the importance of protecting civilians, supporting those who are trying to get to safety or provide assistance, and facilitating access to food, water, medical care, and shelter. We are concerned by the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Gaza. It is crucial to prevent regional escalation.’’
‘’ We call for the immediate release of all hostages and emphasize our shared view that a two-state solution remains the viable path to lasting peace,’’ the statement concluded.