EU condemns attacks of violence in Israel, says this must cease

Israeli police gather next to a car used in a ramming attack in Tel Aviv on Friday. AFP

Brussels: Day after deadly attacks in Israel and a barrage of rockets fired from Lebanon triggered Israeli strikes, European Union on Saturday condemned the acts of violence in the region and called for “restraint”.

Bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the acts of violence must cease.

“The EU expresses its total condemnation of these acts of violence. This must cease,” Borrell said in a statement after Friday’s attacks in Israel.

Borrell also condemned the “indiscriminate” rocket fire from the Gaza Strip and Lebanon.

“We urge all parties to exercise maximum restraint, to avoid further escalation and promote calm for the ongoing religious holidays,” Borrell said.

“Israel has the right to defend itself. At the same time, any response must be proportionate,” he added.

The statement came after two British-Israeli sisters aged 16 and 20 were killed and their mother seriously wounded in an alleged Palestinian shooting attack in the occupied West Bank, while an Italian tourist was killed and seven others wounded in Tel Aviv when a car rammed into people walking on a cycling path.

The escalation of violence in the region started after Israeli police clashed with Palestinians on Wednesday inside Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque, with Israel bombarding both Gaza and Lebanon following the rocket fire by Palestinian militants.

The latest flare-up in tensions comes during what is both the Jewish Passover and the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Borrell added the “status quo of all the holy sites must be preserved”.

With inputs from agencies

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