‘’The indiscriminate launching of rockets from Hamas and other groups towards Israeli civilians is unacceptable,’’ said EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell on Wednesday.
He added, ‘’while recognising Israel’s legitimate need to protect its civilian population, this response needs to be proportionate and with maximum restraint in the use of force.’’
On Monday, following a meeting of EU Foreign Affairs, Borrell didn’t mention the barrage of rockets launched from Gaza into Israel as he limited his comments to the violence in Jerusalem and to the Sheikh Jarrah issue.
‘’The grave escalation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the major upsurge in violence in and around Gaza, must stop. This follows days of tension and clashes in Jerusalem, including at the holy sites and increasing violence in towns in Israel and the West Bank,’’ he said in his latest statement.
He said the EU ‘’is dismayed at the large numbers of civilian deaths and injuries, including children. The priority must be to protect civilians. All efforts should be directed at avoiding civilian casualties, and supporting de-escalation.’’
‘’The EU calls for an immediate end to the ongoing violence. Everything must be done to prevent a broader conflict, which will, first and foremost, affect the civilian populations on both sides. In Jerusalem, the status quo at the holy sites must be respected and freedom of worship guaranteed,’’ Borrell said.
He said he wxas in contact ‘’with the relevant parties in the region’’ and with the international community, including through the Middle East Quartet, ‘’to de-escalate the situation as a matter of priority and to support efforts aimed at ending further violence.’’
European Council President Charles Michel on Wednesday joined repeated European calls for an immediate de-escalation between Israel and Hamas.
In a tweet, European Council President Charles Michel said he had spoken with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. ‘’I am very concerned about the recent upsurge in violence and indiscriminate targeting”.
“The priority should be de-escalation and the prevention of deaths of innocent civilians on both sides,” Michel wrote.