The European Union has condemned Hamas for using hospitals and civilians in them as shields, while at the same time urging Israel to show maximum restraint.
Josep Borrell, the EU’s High Representative for Foreing Affairs conveyed this message during a meeting of foreign affairs ministers in Brussels on Monday.
“We ask Israel to show maximum restraint, in order to save civilian lives and we condemn the use by Hamas of people at hospitals as shields, but we also express our concern for the dire situation of the hospitals that are being heavily affected by the bombing,” the foreign policy chief told reporters.
Josep Borrell also said on Monday that he will go to the region to meet with leaders and discuss the situation this week.
According to Hamas, all hospitals in the North of Gaza are now out of service and due to the lack of fuel, there is no more electricity.
“We need to see what is happening in hospitals in Gaza. These are not battlefields,” Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s foreign affairs minister said.
“We need to listen, in my opinion, to Doctors Without Borders, the leadership of the World Health Organization, who say that people and the patients who are in intensive care units have no chance. There is no more oxygen, there is no more water, there are no more medicines, so these people are going to die.”
But divisions remain at the European level. While officially Brussels is asking for humanitarian pauses to let more aid get into Gaza, some countries, including Spain and Belgium, are asking for a ceasefire. Germany, does not want to go so far.
“I completely understand the impulse in this terrible situation, where innocent children, people, women, mothers and families not only suffer terribly, but also die,” Annalena Baerbock, Germany’s foreign affairs minister said on Monday.
“I understand the impetus for a ceasefire, but impulses are not enough to help people to truly guarantee security and peace.”
The European Union also said that all civilians must be allowed to leave the combat zone and that any humanitarian pauses must happen immediately.