World

EU foreign policy chief Borrell urges Israel’s allies to stop sending weapons

BRUSSELS: EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Monday (Feb 12) urged allies of Israel – primarily the United States – to stop sending it 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 from being killed.”

“Is (it) not logical?” he asked, in a Brussels news conference alongside Philippe Lazzarini, head of the UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA whom Israel is pressuring to resign.

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

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

The Gaza war was sparked by Palestinian militant group Hamas’ unprecedented Oct 7 attack on Israel, which resulted in the deaths of about 1,160 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official figures.

Vowing to eliminate Hamas, Israel launched a massive military offensive in Gaza that the territory’s health ministry says has killed at least 28,064 people, mostly women and children.

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