EU’s top diplomat to Israel’s allies: Send less arms if you think too many Gazans dying

Josep Borrell calls on countries to limit their weapons supplies if they believe that Israel’s response ‘over the top,’ quoting Biden; he also asks where Rafah evacuees should go

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell speaks during a press conference at the end of an Informal Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, on February 12, 2023. (Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP)
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell speaks during a press conference at the end of an Informal Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, on February 12, 2023. (Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP)

European Union Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell on Monday urged allies of Israel — primarily the United States — to stop sending the Jewish state weapons, as “too many people” are being killed in Gaza.

Pointing to US President Joe Biden’s comment last week that Israel’s military action was “over the top,” Borrell said: “Well, if you believe that too many people are being killed, maybe you should provide less arms, in order to prevent so many people being killed.”

“Is (it) not logical?” he asked, in a Brussels news conference. “In 2006, in the war against Lebanon, the US already took this decision. They already took the decision to halt the supply of arms to Israel because Israel did not want to stop the war — exactly the same thing that happens today.”

Borrell was speaking alongside Philippe Lazzarini, head of the UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, whom Israel is pressuring to resign over the body’s alleged links to terror groups in the Strip — including the participation of staffers in the October 7 assault on Israel and the discovery of a major Hamas computer center directly under UNRWA’s Gaza City headquarters.

“How many times have you heard the most prominent leaders and foreign ministers around the world saying too many people are being killed?” Borrell asked.

The comments came on the same day as a Dutch court ruled that The Netherlands must stop delivering parts for F-35 fighter jets used by Israel in the Gaza Strip — a decision the government said it would appeal.

The chief EU diplomat also slammed an order by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the more than one million Palestinians sheltering in the Gazan city of Rafah need to be “evacuated” ahead of a planned military operation there.

People stand around craters caused by Israeli bombardment in Rafah on the southern Gaza Strip on February 12, 2024. (SAID KHATIB / AFP)

“They are going to evacuate — where? To the moon? Where are they going to evacuate these people?” Borrell asked.

Rafah, a smuggling haven, is crucial to Israel’s objective of dismantling Hamas.

But international voices are urging Israel to avoid an operation in the city, where over half of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million has fled to escape the fighting in other areas, and are packed into sprawling tent camps and United Nation-run shelters near the border.

War erupted in Gaza with Hamas’s October 7 massacres, which saw thousands of terrorists burst across the border by air, land, and sea, killing some 1,200 people and kidnapping 253 to Gaza, mostly civilians. In response, Israel launched an extensive military campaign aimed at eliminating the terrorist organization and returning the hostages, two of whom were rescued in a military operation overnight Sunday in Rafah.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry says the Palestinian death toll in the Strip since the start of the war has reached 28,064 people. The figures cannot be independently verified, and are believed to include both civilians and Hamas members killed in Gaza, including as a consequence of terror groups’ own rocket misfires. The IDF says it has killed over 10,000 operatives in Gaza, in addition to some 1,000 terrorists inside Israel on October 7.

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