After attacks, EU ‘extremely worried’ about unrest

28-nation bloc urges leaders to ‘work for a quick de-escalation’; top diplomat renews call for Palestinian state

Marissa Newman is The Times of Israel political correspondent.

European High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini (photo credit: AFP/John Thys)
European High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini (photo credit: AFP/John Thys)

The European Union on Tuesday condemned the “terrible” terror attacks a day earlier in which two Israelis were killed, expressed deep concern for the recent unrest, and called on leaders from both sides to calm the tensions.

The statement from the 28-nation bloc came a day after 20-year-old IDF soldier Almog Shiloni was stabbed to death at a Tel Aviv train stop, and 26-year-old Dalia Lemkus was killed at a bus stop in the Gush Etzion bloc in the West Bank.

“Today’s terrible acts of terror in Israel and the West Bank deserve strong condemnation,” the statement said. It went on to offer condolences to the victims’ families and well wishes to those injured.

The EU is “extremely worried by the current situation that – in the absence of political perspective – can further deteriorate. We urge political leaders to act responsibly and to work for a quick de-escalation of tensions,” it said.

New EU foreign policy czar Federica Mogherini used the occasion to urge progress toward a two-state solution.

“We need a Palestinian state living in peace and security next to the Israeli state,” she said in Berlin, after recently visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories.

“And I am particularly sad and worried about the escalation of violence that we are witnessing these hours,” she told reporters, flanked by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

On Saturday, Mogherini called for the establishment of a Palestinian state, saying the world “cannot afford” another war in Gaza.

“We need a Palestinian state — that is the ultimate goal and this is the position of all the European Union,” Mogherini said during her first visit to Gaza.

She voiced hope that Gaza would avoid another major conflict.

“It is not only the people of Gaza that can’t afford having a fourth war, all the world cannot afford this,” she said.

“We cannot just sit and wait. If we sit and wait it will go on for another 40 years. We have to have action now,” said Mogherini, a former Italian foreign minister who recently took over from Catherine Ashton as the top EU diplomat.

Hours later, speaking in Ramallah, Mogherini said Jerusalem should be a shared capital.

“I think Jerusalem can be and should be the capital of two states,” the new EU foreign policy chief said.

Times of Israel staff and AFP contributed to this report.

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