RAMALLAH, November 19, 2012 (WAFA) - PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi Tuesday criticized the European Union’s failure to recognize the Palestinians’ suffering in Gaza or to notice the killing of an entire family in one attack.
EU’s Foreign Affairs Council held a meeting in Brussels, in which it condemned the rocket attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip, saying that there is no justification for “the deliberate targeting of innocent civilians.”
It said “Israel has the right to protect its population from these kinds of attacks; and to do so it must act proportionately and ensure the protection of civilians at all times.”
The council expressed concern about the situation in Gaza and Israel and the loss of civilian lives from both sides, insisting that all attacks must end immediately as they cause unjustifiable suffering of innocent civilians.
It called for an urgent de-escalation of hostilities and expressed support of the efforts made by Egypt and other actors to mediate for a rapid ceasefire.
The council stated that an immediate cessation of hostilities is in all parties’ interest, in times when the current situation underlines an urgent need to move towards a two-state solution.
Ashrwai pointed out that the Council failed to propose any measures to end the Palestinians’ suffering. “The glaring absence of any reference to the illegal siege of Gaza and its people represents a lack of will that is necessary to bring an end to such injustice.”
She said that the Israeli army has been ruthless in targeting innocent Palestinian civilians; killing more than 100, and injuring more than 800,” she said.
Ashrawi denounced the targeting and killing of journalists and the attack on media outlets in Gaza, saying it represents a blatant attack on the Palestinian basic right to freedom of speech and expression.
She called on EU, the Quartet, the United Nations, and members of the international community to adopt serious measures to hold Israel, the occupying power, accountable for its violations of international and humanitarian law.
Ashrawi affirmed that the people of Gaza need immediate international intervention. With the increase in causalities, waiting for the world to act as the Israeli army shells Gaza, is not an option.
“We urge the international community to demand that Israel puts its political and military objectives aside and adhere to signed agreements, terms of reference and international law. It is high time for freedom and justice to prevail,” she concluded.