The Belgian prime minister has condemned Israel's "disproportionate" use of force in Gaza and the attack it carried out in the neighborhood of Shujaya.
An explosion in violence in the Middle East, tragic loss of civilian lives and the worsening humanitarian conditions have led to a "descent into terror," Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo said Tuesday in a written statement.
"Although I accept Israel's legitimate security measures, I also condemn the completely disproportionate use of force by the Israeli military, including the attack on the neighborhood of Shujaya," Di Rupo said.
Di Rupo, joining calls for Israel and Hamas to immediately call a ceasefire and for both sides to display complete respect for international law, asked EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, as well as the international community, to end the violence and increase pressure on Israel and Palestine to return to negotiations for a permanent solution.
"The international community must undertake every endeavor in order to secure the lives of everyone living in the region, including the people of Gaza, under conditions they can accept," said Di Rupo. "Israel's security needs must be protected, and other elements including humanitarian aid, trade, goods, and migration to and from Gaza must immediately resume, which means that talks must begin without preconditions."
In all, 72 Palestinians have lost their lives and more than 400 people have been injured in attacks by the Israeli military in Gaza's Shujaya neighborhood.