“The facts must be verified and those responsible must be held accountable,” says the President of the Commission
There is no justification for hitting a hospital full of citizens, emphasized the President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, speaking to the plenary session of the European Parliament.
“Last night, a new, senseless tragedy shocked us all. A hospital in Gaza – where hundreds of wounded are being treated – was turned into an inferno. The scenes from Al Ahli hospital are chilling and painful. There is no justification for hitting a hospital full of civilians,” Ursula von der Leyen noted, pointing out that the facts must be ascertained and “those responsible must be held accountable.”
At the same time, the President of the Commission expressed her condolences to the families of the victims of the terrorist attacks in Brussels and Arras. “We see that terror is re-emerging” he underlined.
Ursula von der Leyen also said that Israel has the right to self-defense, according to international law.
“Hamas are terrorists. The Palestinian people also suffer from this terror. We must support them. There is no contradiction in solidarity with Israel and acting for the humanitarian needs of the Palestinians,” he added.
As he repeated “Europe stands by Israel in this dark moment”.
“Only if we recognize Israel’s pain, and its right to defend itself, will we have the credibility to say that Israel must react as a democracy, in accordance with international humanitarian law,” emphasized the President of the Commission.
At the same time, he underlined the need for humanitarian aid to reach the Palestinians urgently citing the tripling of aid to the Palestinians as well as the EU airlift to Egypt, which starts this week.
“The European Union has always been the largest international donor to Palestine. That won’t change. But as the situation on the ground develops, it is also important to urgently and carefully review our financial aid to Palestine,” said Ursula von der Leyen, noting that EU funding has never gone to Hamas or any terrorist entity.
“Hamas’ actions have major geopolitical implications,” he stressed, adding that instability can be contained.
“The dialogue between Israel and its neighbors can and must continue,” he said, adding that this time of war must also be a time of relentless diplomacy.
In addition, she expressed her concern about the spread of hate speech and fake news and emphasized that there is zero tolerance for hate.
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