Sunday

22nd Jan 2017

EU 'deplores' Israeli killing of civilians

  • The fighting is the most serious escalation since the 'Eight-Day War' in 2012 (Photo: Israeli Air Force)

EU countries have urged Palestinian militants to stop firing at Israel, while “deploring” Israel’s killing of civilians.

They said in a statement on Tuesday (8 July) the EU “strongly condemns the indiscriminate fire into Israel” from the Gaza strip, while adding it “deplores the growing number of civilian casualties, reportedly among them children, caused by Israeli retaliatory fire”.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The words did nothing to calm the situation.

The Israeli army said on Wednesday morning the intensity of the fighting is increasing. It reported that a barrage of 45 projectiles was fired in less than 60 minutes at one point during the night, while the Israeli air force struck 160 targets in Gaza.

The firing out of Gaza has not killed any one so far. But Palestinian authorities say Israel killed 31 people in Gaza in the past 24 hours. They say “the vast majority” are civilians and that two of them are children under five years old.

Israel on Tuesday also said it is preparing a ground attack on Gaza if need be, recalling events in 2009, when a ground incursion led to the death of some 1,500 Palestinians and 13 Israelis.

“If we need to go inside in a ground operation, then we will do it”, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Israel’s security minister, said on TV.

For its part, the US on Tuesday urged both sides to “de-escalate”.

A US State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, added that Palestinian “terrorists” are “deliberately targeting” Israeli civilians.

“No country can accept rocket fire aimed at civilians, and we certainly support Israel’s right to defend itself".

Israel and Palestinian authorities were in peace talks less than three months ago.

But the talks unravelled amid Palestinian complaints Israel is building more settlements than ever.

The situation deteriorated after the murder of three Jewish teenagers in June. Israel blamed Hamas, a Palestinian faction which holds sway in Gaza, and launched a crackdown on Hamas members in the West Bank which saw more than 400 people arrested and five Palestinians shot dead.

A Palestinian boy was also murdered in Jerusalem in what Israeli police are treating as a Jewish revenge killing.

For his part, Xavier Abu Eid, an advisor to the Palestinian authorities in the West Bank, told EUobserver from Ramallah on Wednesday that his government “does not justify any violent attack” on Israel.

But he said Israel “escalated the situation” by its crackdown on Hamas despite the fact it did not put forward “any evidence” Hamas had killed the three Jewish boys.

He noted that Israel, as the “occupying power” in Gaza, has a legal responsibility to protect civilians and urged EU states to “stop treating Israel as a country above the law”.

The Israeli foreign ministry could not be reached for comment on Wednesday morning.

Trump pledges US-first foreign policy

Economic protectionism and war on Islamist terrorism will form the heart of US foreign policy, Trump has said. He did not rubbish Nato, but indicated interest in a new Russia alliance.

GMO opt-out plan remains in waiting room

The commission wants to give the power to member states to reject EU-approved genetically modified organisms, but the Maltese presidency is unlikely to approach the issue any time soon.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Caritas EuropaEU States to Join Pope Francis’s Appeal to Care for Migrant Children
  2. UNICEFNumber of Unaccompanied Children Arriving by sea to Italy Doubles in 2016
  3. Nordic Council of Ministers"Nordic Matters" Help Forge Closer Bonds Between the UK and the Nordic Region
  4. Computers, Privacy & Data ProtectionThe age of Intelligent Machines: join the Conference on 25-27 January 2017
  5. Martens CentreNo Better way to Lift Your Monday Blues Than to Gloss Over our Political Cartoons
  6. Dialogue PlatformThe Gulen Movement: An Islamic Response to Terror as a Global Challenge
  7. European Free AllianceMinority Rights and Autonomy are a European Normality
  8. Swedish EnterprisesHow to Create EU Competitiveness Post-Brexit? Seminar on January 24th
  9. European Jewish CongressSchulz to be Awarded the European Medal for Tolerance for his Stand Against Populism
  10. Nordic Council of Ministers"Adventures in Moominland" Kick Off Nordic Matters Festival in London
  11. PLATO15 Fully-Funded PhDs Across Europe on the Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the EU - Apply Now!
  12. Dialogue PlatformInterview: Fethullah Gulen Condemns Assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey