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EU criticizes Israel assaults, urges “restraint”


Brussels, Belgium — The European Union on Saturday condemned deadly attacks in Israel and a barrage of rockets fired from Lebanon that triggered Israeli strikes and called for “restraint”.

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

Two British-Israeli sisters aged 16 and 20 were killed and their mother seriously wounded in a 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.

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

There has been an escalation of violence since 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.

“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.”

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”.

Source: inquirer

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