“Apocalyptic” situation in Gaza, according to Josep Borrell

The situation in Gaza is “apocalyptic” for the civilian populations, warned Monday (December 11) the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell, for whom the level of destruction in the Palestinian territory is higher than that in Germany during the Second World War.

“Unfortunately, the level of destruction of buildings in Gaza is more or less, even higher than the destruction suffered by German cities during the Second World War,” said Mr. Borrell, following a meeting of ministers of EU Foreign Affairs in Brussels.

The Spanish official presented to the press a “catastrophic” picture of the situation in Gaza, saying that the level of human suffering constituted an “unprecedented challenge”.

The heads of diplomacy of the Twenty-Seven discussed additional sanctions against Hamas on Monday, based on a proposal made by France, Italy and Germany. “There were no objections,” said Josep Borrell, adding that he would make a proposal to this effect to the 27.

He also said possible sanctions against Israeli extremists in the West Bank had been discussed. “There was no unanimity,” he clarified, adding that he would nevertheless make a proposal to the member states.

EU countries, for their part, have called for a lasting truce in the fighting in Gaza.

“We must immediately call on all parties to declare a lasting humanitarian ceasefire, which could lead to an end to hostilities,” indicate the leaders of Ireland, Spain, Malta and Belgium, in a letter addressed to Charles Michel, President of the Council European, institution representing the 27 member states.

This approach aims to “put an end to the carnage, the massacre of innocent civilians,” explained Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin upon his arrival in Brussels.

These four countries are demanding that the EU adopt a strong position on this point during the summit of heads of state and government on Thursday and Friday in Brussels.

The war between Israel and Hamas was triggered by an unprecedented attack perpetrated by the Palestinian Islamist movement on October 7 on Israeli soil, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians. Of 240 people kidnapped, 137 are still held hostage in the Gaza Strip.

In retaliation, Israel vowed to “annihilate” Hamas. Its devastating bombings and a vast ground operation left 18,205 people dead, mostly women and young people under the age of 18, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.

This article is originally published on euractiv.fr

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