The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, stated this Monday that Israel’s operations in southern Gaza are “excessive” and “disproportionate”“and put at risk the humanitarian situation of millions of Palestinians, aiming for the United States to impose an arms embargo on Israel to lower the number of deaths in the Strip after pointing out that we must “do more than just express concern.”
In statements from Brussels, where he is participating in a meeting of Cooperation Ministers that will feature the intervention of the Commissioner General of the United Nations Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), Philippe Lazzarini, the head of European diplomacy has focused on the situation in Rafah, scene of Israel’s latest military operations that put supplies to the Strip in check and a deterioration of the serious humanitarian situation is imminent. “My question is: Apart from words, what else do we think we should do??”, he ironized.
“The EU thinks the death toll is too high, is there any possibility of reducing it? The EU does not send weapons to Israel, others do. “If you think that the death toll is too high, maybe you can do something to lower it,” he said, referring to the concerns expressed by Washington. The Israeli military operation in Rafah has set off alarm bells in the international community, including the main Israel’s ally, the United States, whose president, Joe Biden, warned that Israel should not attack the region on the southern tip of Gaza without a “credible plan” to guarantee the safety of civilians in what was designated as a “safe zone” by the Israeli Armed Forces at the beginning of the offensive against the Strip.
Insists on its support for UNRWA
In this sense, the High Representative has insisted that pressure must continue to be maintained against Israel to cease operations in the south of the Strip, which also generate tension with Egypt. In this sense, he has warned of the serious humanitarian disaster that could be unleashed in the Rafah area, arrival point for hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas now more than four months ago. “People in Gaza are locked in, they are being bombed with no way to escape,” she said.
Regarding the situation of UNRWA, in the eye of the storm after accusations by Israel that a dozen of its workers were involved in the Hamas attacks on October 7, Borrell has defended the role played by the agency insisting that he does “irreplaceable” work.
“One thing clear to me is that UNRWA does work that no one else can do.”. Not only in the West Bank but also in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan. It is not a secret that the Israeli Government wants to get UNRWA out of the way because in this way the refugee problem can be eliminated,” he assured, stressing that we must wait for the internal investigation and while “people have to continue eating and receiving medical care,” referring to maintaining funding for the agency.
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