The European Union member states stated that Israel has the right to self-defense under international law and called for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages held by the Hamas movement.
In a joint statement issued two days ago, the 27 EU member states condemned Hamas, describing its attacks on Israel as terrorist and violent. They emphasized the necessity to avoid any regional escalation of the conflict, according to Agence France-Presse.
These countries called for the urgent provision of humanitarian assistance and expressed their readiness to continue supporting civilians in Gaza who are in dire need. They also stressed the importance of ensuring that terrorist organizations do not misuse this aid, highlighting the need to protect all civilians at all times in accordance with international humanitarian law.
This common stance by the European Union comes two days before a video conference meeting of the 27 EU countries, called for by European Council President Charles Michel, to discuss the developments in the confrontations between Israel and Palestinian resistance.
The European leaders stated that they remain committed to a lasting peace based on the two-state solution and the need to engage with the Palestinian authorities, whom they described as legitimate, as well as regional and international partners who can play a positive role in preventing escalation, according to the statement.
This joint position follows a visit by Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, to Israel two days ago, which sparked criticism from diplomats and members of the European Parliament.
Last Wednesday, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said that humanitarian support provided by the European Union to the Palestinian people is not in question, but the bloc should review its financial aid.
The European Union suspended its development aid to the Palestinians last Monday and decided to reassess all of its current programs, delaying all project budgets for 2023 until further notice.
The Israeli army continues its intensive airstrikes on the Gaza Strip for over a week, resulting in thousands of casualties, both deaths and injuries, and widespread destruction. This comes in the aftermath of Operation “Storm al-Aqsa” launched by Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza on the early morning of October 7 in response to attacks by the Israeli occupation and settlers against the Palestinian people and their sanctities.