Daily Israel Report

EU Official Killed in Rocket Attack on Damascus Suburb

A member of the European Union delegation in Syria has been killed in a rocket attack on Damascus.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 3/13/2013, 2:12 PM

Building destroyed in Deraya
Building destroyed in Deraya
Reuters

A member of the European Union delegation in Syria has been killed in a rocket attack on Damascus. It is not clear who fired the missile that killed the EU delegate.

The official, Ahmad Shihadeh, died Tuesday in the suburb of Deraya where he lived, according to a statement by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

Shihadeh, a policy officer, was “giving humanitarian help to people” at the time of his death, Ashton said in her statement.

“I call again on all sides to take urgent steps to end the violence, which has led to the deaths of some 100,000 innocent citizens and over one million refugees seeking shelter in neighboring countries,” she added.

The EU withdrew all of its international staff members from its Damascus office last December due to the escalation in violence, but local employees remained. 

Paulo Pinheiro, chairman of the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, told the U.N. Security Council this week “The war displays all the signs of a destructive stalemate.

“If the national, regional and international actors fail to find a solution to the conflict and stop the agony of millions of civilians, the alternative will be the political, economic and social destruction of Syria and its society, with devastating implications for the region and the world.”

Pinheiro’s report was based on information from 443 interviews conducted by U.N. investigators within Syria.

Some two million Syrians are homeless and internally displaced, the U.N. reported, with more than four million needing humanitarian aid. 

Nevertheless, Syrian refugees refuse any assistance from the State of Israel, according to representatives from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), with whom the Jewish State has tried to coordinate efforts to offer humanitarian aid.

Instead, private Israeli agencies are working quietly to provide assistance to the refugees in Jordan, once they have crossed the border into the Hashemite Kingdom. Often they are unaware of the source of their aid.