Daily Israel Report

EU 'Very Concerned' Over Gaza Violence

European leaders condemn Hamas for firing rockets into Israel but also call on Israel to "act proportionately".
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 7/19/2014, 12:36 AM

Lighting flares over Gaza
Lighting flares over Gaza
Reuters

The European Union on Friday said it was "very concerned" over the escalation of violence in Gaza and reiterated a call for an immediate ceasefire, AFP reports.

"We are very concerned about the escalation in the Gaza Strip including the resumption of rocket fire into Israel and the Israeli ground operation," said a statement issued on behalf of the 28-nation bloc.

Welcoming the humanitarian pause agreed on Thursday, EU nations regretted it was not followed by a lasting ceasefire.

"We call on all parties to immediately agree to a ceasefire. We underline the obligation to allow full and unimpeded access for humanitarian assistance," said the statement.

Deploring the many civilians deaths, including numerous children, the EU nations said that "we strongly deplore such incidents and we call for them to be investigated swiftly."

The statement condemned Hamas for firing rockets into Israel but said that while "Israel has the right to protect its population... it must act proportionately".

"We reiterate our call on both sides to de-escalate the situation, to end the violence and to end the suffering of the civilian populations," the statement said, according to AFP.

The statement marks the second time in several days that the EU has urged Israel to "act proportionately" in relation to Gaza.

During the current escalation, Hamas has openly boasted about the "success" of its strategy of using civilians as human shields, and the IDF has published extensive evidence of the practice.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)