BRUSSELS, Belgium — The European Union on Saturday condemned deadly attacks in Israel and a barrage of rockets fired from Lebanon that triggered Israeli strikes and called for “restraint.”
“The EU expresses its total condemnation of these acts of violence. This must cease,” the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement after Friday’s attacks in Israel.
Two British-Israeli sisters, aged 15 and 20, were killed and their mother seriously wounded in a shooting attack in the West Bank, while an Italian tourist was killed and seven others wounded in Tel Aviv when an Arab Israeli man drove his car into people walking on a cycling path.
Borrell also condemned the “indiscriminate” rocket fire from the Gaza Strip and Lebanon.
There has been an escalation of violence since Israeli police clashed with Palestinians on Tuesday inside Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount, with dozens of rockets fired into Israel by Hamas terrorists in Gaza and Lebanon. Israel responded with strikes in both places.
“We urge all parties to exercise maximum restraint, to avoid further escalation and promote calm for the ongoing religious holidays,” Borrell said, referring to the Jewish festival of Passover and the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
“Israel has the right to defend itself. At the same time, any response must be proportionate,” he said.
Borrell added the “status quo of all the holy sites must be preserved.”
The statement from the EU comes after last month Israel signaled that Borrell was not welcome in Israel after he appeared to draw a comparison between Palestinian terror attacks and IDF operations.