Asked if the attack on a hospital in Gaza is a violation of international law, the President of the European Council gave a clear answer in contrast to Ursula von der Leyen who refused to answer
“An attack on civilian infrastructure is inconsistent with international law”said the President of the European Council Charles Michel, during a press conference shortly after the conclusion of the informal European Council on the situation in the Middle East held by teleconference.
Asked if the attack on a hospital in Gaza is a violation of international law, the President of the European Council gave a clear answer. As he said, the news arrived when the video conference of the European leaders started, however he did not specify whether it expresses his personal position or the unanimous position of all European leaders.
From her side Ursula von der Leyen refused to answer the same questionsaying he can’t comment on something that hasn’t been confirmed at the time.
Then, to a question whether in its common position the European Council adopts the statement of the EU High Representative, Z. Borrell, that the interruption of access to any good in the Gaza Strip (water, electricity, medicine and food) constitutes a violation of the international and of humanitarian law, Charles Michel agreed, saying: “When you cut basic infrastructure, access to water, electricity and food, it is not in line with international law.”
For her part, the President of the Commission refrained from answering directly, referring to the joint statement of the European leaders of Sunday 15 October, which summarizes the position of the European Council of which she is a member. The joint statement states the following: “We strongly emphasize Israel’s right to defend itself in accordance with humanitarian and international law against violent and indiscriminate attacks (including by Hamas). We reiterate the importance of ensuring the protection of all civilians at all times in accordance with International Humanitarian Law.”
Both President Charles Michel and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen underlined the need to allow humanitarian aid to reach the Gaza Strip, on the border with Egypt.
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