update deskIsrael at War

Israeli FM slams EU’s Borrell for claiming J’lem starving Gazans

The European diplomat needs to "stop attacking Israel," Israel Katz says.

European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell in Brussels, Oct. 7, 2019. Credit: European Parliament via Wikimedia Commons.
European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell in Brussels, Oct. 7, 2019. Credit: European Parliament via Wikimedia Commons.

Ahead of a summit of European Union foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz called on E.U. foreign policy chief Josep Borrell to stop bashing the Jewish state and recognize its right to defend itself.

“Israel allows extensive humanitarian aid into Gaza by land, air and sea for anyone willing to help,” tweeted Katz, noting that Israel persists in assisting the Strip’s civilian population “despite Hamas violently disrupting aid convoys and UNRWA‘s collaboration with them.”

According to Katz, “it’s time” for the E.U. diplomat to “stop attacking Israel and recognize our right to self-defense against Hamas’ crimes.”

Katz’s post on X tagged the foreign ministers of Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Romania.

Speaking at a conference in the Belgian capital shortly before he met with 27 E.U. foreign ministers on Monday, Borrell accused Jerusalem of “provoking famine” in the Gaza Strip, claiming that the Israel Defense Forces is weaponizing starvation as a “weapon of war.”

“Gaza was before the war the greatest open-air prison. Today, it is the greatest open-air graveyard,” Borrell claimed in separate comments. “A graveyard for tens of thousands of people, and also a graveyard for many of the most important principles of humanitarian law.”

According to Israel, at least 14,000 terrorists are among the estimated 31,000 Palestinians that Hamas claims have been killed in the war.

Last month, after Borrell suggested that the United States and other countries halt weapons shipments to Israel over allegations that “too many people are being killed” in the war against Hamas, Katz charged that the E.U. diplomat refuses to “listen to anyone.”

“We clarified and will clarify again. Israel acts according to the international laws of war and allows the Gazans to reach safe areas. In fact, Israel cares more about the residents of Gaza than Hamas does. They prevent them from leaving. We permit it,” the Israeli official added.

Following a tour last year of Kibbutz Be’eri, where Hamas terrorists butchered more than 100 people during their Oct. 7 terrorist assault on Israel, Borrell implored the Jewish state “not to be consumed by rage.

“One horror does not justify another. … I think that is what the best friends of Israel can tell you,” said the E.U. foreign policy chief, speaking at a press conference alongside then-Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen.

Earlier this year, Borrell demanded that the international community impose a “solution” to the conflict between Israel and Palestinian terrorists in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.

“What we have learned over the last 30 years, and what we are learning now with the tragedy experienced in Gaza, is that the solution must be imposed from outside,” he said.

“Peace will only be achieved in a lasting manner if the international community gets involved intensely to achieve it and imposes a solution,” he added, referring to the U.S., Europe and Arab countries.

In October, Borrell slammed Israel’s response to the Hamas invasion and appeared to call for a ceasefire, leading to criticism from E.U. foreign ministers.

In 2019, while serving as Spain’s foreign minister, Borrell admitted to participating in an antisemitic rally as a child in the 1950s, according to the El Confidencial website. Armed with noisemakers, the future diplomat joined in shouts of “Kill Jews,” he told attendees at a Holocaust memorial service.

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