Peter Stano, Lead Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Commission, responded Wednesday to a statement that Israel launched a war on Hamas.

"Your assertion; you said Israel has launched a war," he said. "No, we all know how it started. Hamas, a terrorist group, Hamas launched a terrorist attack against mostly Israeli civilians on October 7th, and Israel is retaliating against a terrorist attack."

Stano continued, "This attack continues in a sense that hostages have been kidnapped in violation of any international law, and civilians and others are still being held and not released. A few of them have been released, but the bulk of them have not been released and there is still rocket fire, indiscriminate rocket fire against Israel."

"So," he said, "we have to distinguish, it was not Israel who started this war. It is a war that was imposed on the Israelis by Hamas. Israel is retaliating and the European position is based on the parameters on how this conflict started."