EU demands ceasefire and stop to Israel attacks in Palestine

Bartolo: evictions, rockets and airstrikes must stop. Norwegian Refugee Council says 11 children killed in their homes with other relatives

The European Union will be calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.

Foreign Minister Evarist Bartolo told Reuters the EU will be offering more humanitarian aid, while trying to relaunch peace talks.

He also said U.S. President Joe Biden's openness to seek a solution to the decades-old conflict was crucial.

“Unless we address the root causes of the violence, it will happen again,” he said.

During the informal meeting between European foreign ministers, Bartolo said there will be no peace until both the Israelis and the Palestinians enjoy equal human rights.

“There will be no peace and security till Palestinians are forced to live in despair, trauma, discrimination, unemployment, poverty, and humiliation which give rise to radicalism,” he said. “Let us not go forward to the past terrorism of the last 50 years. Let’s prevent terrorism by addressing seriously the causes of terrorism.”

He also called for attacks to stop. “To give peace a chance the evictions must stop, the rockets must stop, the airstrikes must stop,” he said.

The Norwegian Refugee Council confirmed today that 11 of over 60 children killed by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza over the last week were participating in its psycho-social programme aimed at helping them deal with trauma.

All of the children, aged between 5 and 15 years old, were killed in their homes in densely populated areas along with countless other relatives who died or received injuries.

NRC works with 118 schools in the Gaza Strip, reaching more than 75,000 students through its psycho-social intervention, the Better Learning Programme.

"We are devastated to learn that eight children we were helping with trauma were bombarded while they were at home and thought they were safe," said NRC's Secretary General Jan Egeland.

He called on Israel to stop the “madness”, stating children must be protected.