His comments come after U.S. President Joe Biden said last week that Israel’s response to Hamas in the Gaza Strip has been “over the top.” The death toll from Israel’s retaliatory bombings after the October 7 attacks by Hamas has now surpassed 28,000 people, according to Gaza’s health authorities.
Borrell noted the U.S. had taken a similar decision on arms supplies to Israel in its 2006 conflict with Lebanon “because Israel didn’t want to stop the war; exactly the same thing that happens today.”
A series of Israeli strikes hit Rafah in southern Gaza early Monday, killing dozens of people. Israel plans a ground assault in the city, which borders on Egypt, and where almost 1.5 million Palestinians are crammed seeking safety.
Western leaders have decried Israel’s invasion plan, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “doesn’t listen to anyone,” Borrell said. “Where are they going to evacuate (Palestinians)?” he asked. “To the moon?”
The EU ministers voiced support for the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), which has recently taken fire amid Israeli allegations that members of its staff abetted the October 7 Hamas attacks.
“Many member states stated there is no alternative for Gaza and that we must prevent funding gaps,” said Belgium’s Minister of Development Cooperation Caroline Gennez.