The president of the European Council condemns the massacre at the Gazan Al Ahli hospital | International
Protect civilians in Gaza and intensify efforts to bring humanitarian aid to the Strip, besieged by Israel. The heads of State and Government of the Twenty-Seven have tried to show this Tuesday in an urgent meeting by videoconference a united front in their position on Israel's response against Hamas after the attacks ten days ago. After days of chaotic and contradictory messages, EU leaders have recognized Israel's right to defend itself, but have warned that it cannot violate international laws. Increasingly clear violations. As leaders met to discuss the conflict in the Middle East, a bombing of the Al Ahli hospital in Gaza caused carnage. “The attack against a civilian infrastructure is not in line with international law,” condemned the president of the European Council, Charles Michel.
Israel keeps Gaza governed in fact by Hamas, under siege for days, without water, without electricity and with a blockade of food and medicine. A violation of the law of war, Michel said. The EU is intensifying its diplomatic contacts to try to de-escalate tension and alleviate the already critical situation in the Strip. “The urgent thing is to stop this humanitarian crisis and avoid at all costs that it causes the extension of this conflict to the region,” stressed the acting president of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, who holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU. and that he has criticized that the international community has looked “the other way”, has not paid enough attention to the conflict and has acted as if the stability of the region was going to resolve itself.
The EU has already decided to triple humanitarian aid to Gaza (up to 75 million euros) and the Twenty-Seven agreed this Tuesday to intensify contacts with both Israel and Egypt so that these essential goods reach the Strip. Spain has also increased its allocation to Gaza by an additional four million this year, the acting Prime Minister has said. “Israel must guarantee aid access to Gaza at all times,” said Sánchez. The Twenty-Seven fear the catastrophic situation in the Strip, where more than two million people live with a population density of 5,500 people per square kilometer—60 times that of Spain—and it has already been decided to increase humanitarian aid and establish an airlift with Egypt to try to introduce essential supplies.
"Our strength is born from unity and after the enormous crisis, unity is the best asset for stability," said Sánchez, who has demanded the release of the hostages held by Hamas (199, according to Israel, among them, a Spaniard). . “This is a serious and serious issue that must mobilize us as Europeans. We must be guided by unity and coherence,” Michel stressed. The same message that other leaders have issued, as well as the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
The Twenty-Seven have thus tried to show an image of coordination after the controversy over the contradictory messages issued from the European institutions; for example, about the suspension (later rectified) of humanitarian aid to the Strip a week ago. Also after the controversy and strong criticism of Von der Leyen for her heeled posture and her trip to Israel, where, while the Israeli army demanded that the inhabitants of northern Gaza evacuate the area, she met with the leadership of the Government and did not mentioned in public the obligations to respect international law. Von der Leyen did so this Tuesday. “The civilians of Gaza must be protected,” he stated.
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The EU is seriously concerned that Israel's war against Hamas in Gaza will lead to a regional escalation, that violence will spread to the West Bank and that actors such as Iran and Lebanon will enter. The security of the EU, Michel has warned, is also worrying. The Twenty-Seven have spoken of their anxiety that the conflict will also cause internal tensions and trigger hate crimes in the EU (for example, Islamophobic or anti-Semitic) and have commissioned Interior Ministers to analyze how to improve security coordination. and intelligence. The specter of terrorism in Europe has once again been on leaders' tables following the deadly attack on a teacher in France on Friday and an Islamist attack on two Swedish citizens in Brussels on Monday.
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