Mogherini Warns Against 'Escalation' in Violence

European Union foreign policy chief speaks with Netanyahu and Abbas, calls for them to avoid "disproportionate reactions".

Elad Benari ,

Federica Mogherini
Federica Mogherini

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini warned on Sunday against the escalation of violence in the Palestinian territories in separate phone calls to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

"(I) talked now with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas on escalation of violence. Need to stop acts of terror and to avoid disproportionate reactions," Mogherini said in a tweet quoted by AFP, the day before a meeting of the EU's 28 foreign ministers in Luxembourg.

The ongoing terror wave continued on Sunday, with four people being injured in a combined car attack and terrorist stabbing at a bus station near Gan Shmuel on Highway 65 in northern Israel, between Hadera and Afula.

A 19-year-old female soldier is in moderate to serious condition with wounds to the upper body. A 14-year-old girl was stabbed, and is in moderate condition, and two men, aged 45 and 20, are in light condition.

The terrorist ran over one of the victims and then emerged from his car and stabbed his other victims.

On Sunday morning, a female terrorist detonated a bomb in a car on the main road to Ma'ale Adumim, a few miles east of Jerusalem, wounding a police officer.

Testing of the car revealed several other explosives which the terrorist apparently intended to detonate in an urban center in Jerusalem.

Mogherini’s statement followed separate conversations on Saturday night between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Netanyahu and Abbas, in which he shared his "deep concern" over the recent wave of terror in Israel.

Kerry called both leaders "to express his deep concern over the recent wave of violence and offer his support for efforts to restore calm as soon as possible," a State Department statement said.

"He reiterated the importance of strongly condemning violence and combating incitement, and taking affirmative steps to reduce tensions."

Following the horrific murders of Rabbi Eitam and Naama Henkin, Mogherini issued a statement in which she called on both Israelis and Palestinian Arabs to impose "calm" despite the crime, and also called for the establishment of a Palestinian state

"Today we mourn once again the loss of human lives," Mogherini said. "The killing of an Israeli couple has left four young children orphaned and, once again, civilians have been targeted so as to cause terrible suffering and to try to undermine any possibility of a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

"The EU expresses its condolences to the Henkin family," she continued. "The perpetrators of this act must be brought to justice."

Mogherini warned, however, that "restraint and calm" are needed despite the terror. 

"Even in the face of such a crime, restraint and calm are needed on all sides to ensure that the violence witnessed yesterday and in recent months does not aggravate the situation further," she said. "On the contrary, the continuing loss of life highlights once more the necessity for a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."