In Brussels, the top diplomat of the European Union stated that Israel’s actions in Gaza may have violated international law. He emphasized the importance of the EU continuing to provide funding to the Palestinian Authority following an attack by Hamas on Israel.
“The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, stated on Tuesday that the right to self-defense must be exercised in accordance with international law. This statement was made during a virtual meeting of EU foreign ministers.”
“The international law has been violated by Israel through certain actions that have been denounced by the United Nations. These actions include cutting off access to water, electricity, and food for a large number of civilian individuals. Therefore, it is clear that there are some actions that go against international law,” he stated.
The statements made by him caused disagreement within the EU, as they contrast with the messaging coming from Washington. The Biden administration has not yet criticized Israel’s actions in Gaza. In response to Hamas’ attack on Israel, Israel has imposed a complete blockade on Gaza, resulting in over 900 fatalities. Borrell’s comments are the most forceful denunciation by a high-ranking EU representative of Israel’s attacks in Gaza, which have claimed the lives of over 800 individuals.
Borrell denounced the “inhumane and violent assault” carried out by Hamas and expressed concern for the plight of the Palestinian people.
Borrell attempted to put an end to the dispute that has consumed the European Commission in the last day, after an announcement made by Hungarian Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi declaring a cut in all EU aid to Palestine was retracted. A review is now underway.
Borrell, the leader of the European External Action Service, the diplomatic branch of the European Union, stated that the evaluation should not hinder financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority, which is acknowledged by the global community. He warned against halting support for the Palestinian Authority during this crucial time, as it would benefit Hamas.
Currently, the number of casualties in Gaza is on the rise. The state of humanitarian affairs is critical. We must provide more support, not less, during this time.
Borrell’s statement is in line with previous EU remarks regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during times of increased tension, urging all parties to abide by international law and exercise restraint. However, the recent aggressive attack by Hamas on Israel has caused some EU members to call for Brussels to demonstrate greater support for Israel.
Although the meeting extended an invitation, neither Israeli nor Palestinian representatives were in attendance.
European Parliament President Roberta Metsola has extended an invitation to all Parliament members and staff to participate in a solemn commemoration at the European Parliament on Wednesday in honor of the victims of Hamas. However, it is anticipated that some MEPs will not attend due to concerns that the victims of Israel’s attacks in Gaza will not be included in the planned event.