EU calls for immediate pauses as Israeli bombardment of hospitals continues

EU condemns Hamas for using hospitals in Gaza as human shields and demands unconditional release of all hostages taken on 7 October terror attack

The EU has once again issued a statement expressing its grave concern on the deepening humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

The EU said it wants “immediate pauses” in hostilities - the plural wording suggesting it is not a permanent ceasefire, due to divisions within the Council - and the establishment of humanitarian corridors and a dedicated maritime route, so that humanitarian aid can safely reach the population of Gaza.

While the EU re-emphasised Israel’s right to defend itself in line with international law and international humanitarian law, it called for continued, rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access and aid to reach those in need through all necessary measures including humanitarian corridors and pauses for humanitarian needs.

“The EU reiterates its call on Hamas for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages. It is crucial that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is granted access to the hostages,” Vice-President for External Relations Josep Borrell said.

Rather than condemning Israel’s bombardment of hospitals in Gaza, the EU condemn their use by Hamas as human shields. “Civilians must be allowed to leave the combat zone. These hostilities are severely impacting hospitals and taking a horrific toll on civilians and medical staff. The EU emphasises that international humanitarian law stipulates that hospitals, medical supplies and civilians inside hospitals must be protected.

“Hospitals must also be supplied immediately with the most urgent medical supplies and patients that require urgent medical care need to be evacuated safely. In this context, we urge Israel to exercise maximum restraint to ensure the protection of civilians.”