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'Each civilian life matters' in Mid-East: EU Council President

February 6, 2024 at 1:32 pm

European Council President Charles Michel speaks at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, on February 6, 2024 [FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP via Getty Images]

Each civilian life matters in the Middle East, the President of the EU Council said Tuesday, reports Anadolu Agency.

“Each civilian life must be respected … double standards must be avoided,” Charles Michel told the EU Parliament’s plenary session in Strasbourg.

He deplored the dire humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and highlighted the UN Agency for Palestinian refugees, or UNRWA’s, importance for the region.

Since 26 January, many countries have suspended funding to the UNRWA after Israel alleged that some Agency employees were involved in the Hamas attack of 7 October.

The Agency said it terminated contracts with several employees following the Israeli allegations.

Michel also stressed the need to work toward peace between Israel and Palestine and the two-state solution in the region, adding that the EU “never hesitated” on that matter.

He noted that the escalation in the region, particularly around the Red Sea, is not only a security issue but also an economic one.

Israel has launched a deadly offensive on the Gaza Strip since a 7 October attack by Hamas in which Tel Aviv says nearly 1,200 Israelis were killed.

However, since then, it has been revealed by Haaretz that helicopters and tanks of the Israeli army had, in fact, killed many of the 1,139 soldiers and civilians claimed by Israel to have been killed by the Palestinian Resistance.

At least 27,585 Palestinians have been killed and 66,978 others injured in Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip since 7 October, the Health Ministry in the enclave said on Tuesday.

The Israeli offensive has left 85 per cent of Gaza’s population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60 per cent of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

READ: UNRWA headquarters in occupied Jerusalem faces calls for closure from extremist settlers