The European Council on Thursday called for “corridors and pauses” for humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip, while also once again condemning Hamas for its terrorist attacks against Israel.
“The European Council reiterates its condemnation in the strongest possible terms of Hamas for its brutal and indiscriminate terrorist attacks across Israel. The use of civilians as human shields by Hamas is a particularly deplorable atrocity,” the statement said.
“The European Council strongly emphasizes Israel’s right to defend itself in line with international law and international humanitarian law. It reiterates its call on Hamas to immediately release all hostages without any precondition,” it added.
The European Council also said it “reiterates the importance of ensuring the protection of all civilians at all times in line with international humanitarian law. It deplores all loss of civilian life.”
“The European Council expresses its gravest concern for the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza and calls for continued, rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access and aid to reach those in need through all necessary measures including humanitarian corridors and pauses for humanitarian needs,” the statement continued.
It also said that the European Union “will work closely with partners in the region to protect civilians, provide assistance and facilitate access to food, water, medical care, fuel and shelter, ensuring that such assistance is not abused by terrorist organizations.”
The statement added the EU “is ready to contribute to reviving a political process on the basis of the two-state solution, including through the Peace Day Effort, and welcomes diplomatic peace and security initiatives and supports the holding of an international peace conference soon.”
The European Parliament last week passed a non-binding resolution condemning Hamas’ terrorist attacks against Israel, calling for the immediate release of all hostages kidnapped by Hamas and recognizing Israel’s right to self-defense “as enshrined in and constrained by international law”.