ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

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EU condemns Hamas for using ‘hospitals and civilians as human shields’

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell rings a bell to signify the start of a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the European Council building in Brussels, November 13, 2023. (AP Photo/ Virginia Mayo)
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell rings a bell to signify the start of a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the European Council building in Brussels, November 13, 2023. (AP Photo/ Virginia Mayo)

The 27 European Union nations have jointly condemned Hamas for the use of hospitals and civilians as “human shields” in the war against Israel.

EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell says that at the same time the bloc asked Israel “for maximum restraint and targeting in order to avoid human casualties.”

At a meeting of the bloc’s foreign affairs ministers, Borrell brandishes a statement he issued on behalf of the 27 nations as a show of unity following weeks of often contrasting statements on how the group should address the Israel-Hamas war.

“You know how difficult it has been the last times, after the vote in the United Nations, where countries were voted in different ways, to present a completely united approach,” Borrell says.

Only hours after EU leaders professed unity over the Israel-Hamas war on Oct. 28, the member states were totally split in a vote on a General Assembly resolution calling for humanitarian truces in Gaza leading to a cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas.

Now, though, the EU nations says in a statement they join “calls for immediate pauses in hostilities and the establishment of humanitarian corridors, including through increased capacity at border crossings and through a dedicated maritime route, so that humanitarian aid can safely reach the population of Gaza.”

And they reiterate their “call on Hamas for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages. It is crucial that the International Committee of the Red Cross is granted access to the hostages.”

It adds that “the EU condemns the use of hospitals and civilians as human shields by Hamas.”

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