EU: Gaza and Israel 'dangerously close' to conflict

European Union urges de-escalation in Gaza after latest flare-up of violence.

Elad Benari, Canada,

European Union flag
European Union flag

Gaza and Israel are "dangerously close" to a new conflict after a flare-up of violence in recent days, the European Union warned on Friday, according to AFP.

It added that an urgent "de-escalation" was needed to keep civilians from further risk.

"The rocket fire from Gaza towards communities in Southern Israel as well as other violent actions and provocations against Israel by Hamas and other Palestinian militants are totally unacceptable," an EU foreign affairs spokesperson said in a statement.

"While having the right to defend itself, Israel is expected to continue to exercise restraint and do everything to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza. The death of a pregnant Palestinian mother and her child in this latest escalation is a tragic loss,” it added.

"The European Union reiterates its full support to the efforts by Egypt and the UN to reduce tensions and to alleviate the situation in Gaza, including by enhancing the international response to the current crisis and easing movement and access," the statement concluded.

180 rockets and mortars were launched at Israeli territory overnight Wednesday, with more rockets being fired throughout the day Thursday. Several Israelis were injured in the rocket barrages, including one woman who was critically injured.

On Wednesday, a rocket struck the city of Be'er Sheva for the first time since Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

In retaliation for the ongoing rocket fire, the IDF struck hundreds of terror targets in Gaza, including a Hamas command center which was leveled on Thursday.

(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.)