Josep Borrell
Josep BorrellReuters

All European Union (EU) countries except for Hungary on Monday joined a call for an "immediate humanitarian pause" in the Gaza war, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said, according to a report in AFP.

The European Union has struggled for a united response on Israel's military operation following the October 7 attack by Hamas, but Borrell said foreign ministers from 26 states had agreed a statement calling for "an immediate humanitarian pause that would lead to a sustainable ceasefire".

The EU countries also reiterated their calls for Israel not to launch an assault on the Gaza city of Rafah.

Hungary, which is a staunch supporter of Israel, has frequently refused to go along with EU statements seen as critical of the country.

In a previous EU statement, it condemned Hamas for its use of civilians as human shields but also urged Israel to show "maximum restraint" to protect civilians from the war it is waging against Hamas.

Borrell has been critical of Israel during the war in Gaza. Last month, he accused Israel of having financed the creation of Hamas in an attempt to weaken the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Borrell added that the only peaceful solution included the creation of a Palestinian state.

Last week, the EU foreign policy chief urged allies of Israel -- primarily the United States -- to stop sending it weapons as "too many people" are being killed in Gaza.

Pointing to US President Joe Biden's comment from several days earlier that Israel's military action was "over the top", Borrell said, "Well, if you believe that too many people are being killed, maybe you should provide less arms in order to prevent so many people have been killed."

"Is (it) not logical?" he asked in a Brussels news conference alongside Philippe Lazzarini, head of the UN's agency for “Palestinian refugees”, UNRWA.

"How many times have you heard the most prominent leaders and foreign ministers around the world saying too many people are being killed?" Borrell asked.