The EU’s top diplomat says he understands Israel’s anger but urges ‘not to be consumed by rage’.
The European Union’s (EU) top diplomat, Joseph Borrell, urged Israel not to be “consumed by anger” as the country continues to reel from the October 7 Hamas attacks.
Borel spoke to reporters with Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen after touring Israel’s Kibbutz Beeri on Thursday.
Borrell said he would “express the EU’s solidarity with the Israeli people” and call for the “immediate” release of the hostages in Gaza.
“Nothing justifies what Hamas terrorists did here and elsewhere on October 7. Nothing justifies kidnapping women, children and the elderly from their homes and holding them hostage,” he said.
“I understand your anger, but please don’t let it sink in,” Borel said, describing it as advice from “Israel’s best friend.”
“The difference between a civilized society and a terrorist group is respect for human life,” the EU official added.
While the EU recognizes Israel’s right to defend itself, any response must be in accordance with international humanitarian law, he said.
“Gaza is far from here. And one horror does not justify another. In recent weeks thousands of innocent civilians have died, including children,” Borrell added.
“It’s one thing to take care of Israel, it’s another to take care of people in need,” he continued to insist, which is why the EU continues to call for “rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access” to Gaza.
A little context: Israel launched its military campaign with the goal of destroying Hamas and rescuing more than 240 hostages in a brutal attack by the militant group that has killed more than 1,200 people.
At least 11,470 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7, the Palestinian Health Ministry in Ramallah said Thursday, citing medical sources controlled by Hamas.
Remember: US President Joe Biden made similar comments in Tel Aviv in mid-October, lamenting the loss of life from attacks on Israel but warning Israelis not to be “consumed” by anger.
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