The European Union on Monday denounced Israel’s attack on an international media headquarters in Gaza on Saturday, despite ruling out community sanctions for the Israeli offensive in the Strip, arguing that it is currently taking diplomatic action.
At a press conference in Brussels on Monday, EU spokesman Peter Stano stressed that the case was “extremely worrying” and that he had defended the independence of the press, which was “even more important in the context of conflicts”. “The safety of journalists is essential, the work of the media in conflict areas is essential,” he said.
The Al Yala Tower, which was attacked this Saturday, was home to delegations from the US news agency The Associated Press (AP) and Qatari television Al Jazeera. The building was totally destroyed.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended the bombing, claiming it was directed against a Hamas “intelligence agency”. “It attacks our civilians and hides behind them using them as human shields,” he said.
When asked if the EU is considering taking action against Israel because of the current crisis sparked by the clashes over the settlements and the ensuing military offensive against Gaza, Stano insisted that sanctions are an instrument that “if everything else fails. Others “and” unanimously appointed “are accepted.
The spokesman declared that “no one in the EU puts the possibility of sanctions on the table” and insisted on resolving the escalation of the war in the Middle East through diplomatic channels.
Exactly the foreign ministers of the 27 will discuss the situation this Tuesday in an extraordinarily convened Foreign Council. The appointment comes ten days after the military mission to the area where nearly 200 people were killed on the Strip.
The bloc faces the split meeting as member states such as Austria, the Czech Republic or Hungary have publicly shown their support for Israel’s offensive and are unwilling to take a critical joint position with Tel Aviv.
The focus of the meeting will be on combating the rise in violence in the region and preventing the loss of life, which Stano has called a “top priority” in the current crisis. In his opinion, only by easing tension can the next step be taken, which is to resume dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians to address the deep roots of the conflict.