Jerusalem, Nov 17 (EFE) – The High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, insisted on Friday in the occupied West Bank that the war against Hamas in Gaza is “is the outcome of a collective political and moral failure.”
Speaking at a press conference in Ramallah with Palestinian National Authority (PNA) Prime Minister Mohamed Shtaye, Borrell insisted that because of this failure, “the Israeli and Palestinian people are paying a high price. This price will continue to increase if we fail to act.”
He also stressed that the only way to end the cycle of violence between Israel and Palestine is through a political solution.
The head of European diplomacy, as he did yesterday in Israel, condemned the Hamas attack, called for the unconditional release of those kidnapped by the Islamist group and for the Red Cross to visit them, and supported Israel’s right to defend itself while respecting international humanitarian law.
“The military strategy of Israel has to abide by international law, including the law that seeks to avoid, to every extent possible, the death and suffering of civilians,” Borrell said.
“Cutting off water, food, electricity and fuel to an entire besieged civilian population is not acceptable. The scale of the bombing is also extremely concerning,” he said.
Borrell met Thursday in Israel with President Isaac Herzog and Foreign Minister Eli Cohen. However, he did not meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
He expressed to Herzog his solidarity and support for Israel’s right to defend itself, while also expressing his concern for the suffering of the civilian population in Gaza and urging them to find ways to make peace.
In his public appearance with Herzog, Borrell said, “I am here to share your grief, to share your pain and to stress the European Union’s solidarity with the Israeli people.”
He added that he deplored the Hamas attack on October 7 that killed at least 1,200 people in Israel and resulted in the capture of more than 240 people in Gaza.
The diplomat also said he was shocked by the human suffering of the Israeli people, but also by the human suffering of the people of Gaza, where Israeli bombardments have already killed more than 11,500 Palestinians, most of them civilians.
As he stressed, “Hamas has to be defeated, but Hamas does not represent the Palestinian people. One thing is Hamas, another thing is the Palestinian people.”
“Gaza is the consequence of a political and moral failure of the international community, which has not done everything it should have done,” Borrell also said on another speech on Thrusday.
This is the first visit by the EU’s top diplomat to Palestine and Israel since the outbreak of the conflict.
Last March, Israel refused to receive him on an official visit because of his positions and statements on the escalation of violence between Israelis and Palestinians.
The ANP, which has limited power in small areas of the West Bank and no control over the Gaza Strip, is the main Palestinian partner of the European Union and the United States, which consider Hamas a terrorist group and have no direct relations with it.
After passing through Israel and the Palestinian territories, Borrell will continue a tour that will take him to Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan, where he will also address the regional crisis generated by the war between Israel and Palestinian militias in Gaza. EFE