The European Jewish Congress expresses its solidarity with the people and government of the State of Israel as the country continues to face a barrage of rocket attacks on its cities and population centres.
Yesterday, three people were killed in Kiryat Malachi, a terrible consequence of attacks which have seen hundreds of missiles fired from the Gaza Strip by Hamas and other terror groups this year alone.
It is intolerable that any country should be faced with such repeated attacks against its people and we wholeheartedly support the right of the State of Israel to take all steps to protect its population.
The responsibility for the current crisis lies totally with Hamas and we call on the international community to unequivocally condemn Hamas and to do everything they can to bring about a peaceful resolution to the conflict which guarantees the security of the Israeli people.
Hamas is openly targeting Israeli civilians and were it not for well-rehearsed safety measures, there would be a bloodbath in southern Israel. No other nation would exercise such restraint as Israel has shown and it behooves the international community to recognize this fact in word and action.
In addition, as Hamas is escalating its war against Israel on the military front, the Palestinian Authority is escalating the diplomatic war against Israel by pushing its unilateral agenda at the United Nations. Just as the European Union and its member states would play no part on the military front, so it must distance itself from the diplomatic front against its ally, Israel, and call on the Palestinian Authority to cancel its application for observer status at the United Nations, a clear breach of existing peace agreements and upon which the Quartet and the European Union stand as guarantors.
We are deeply concerned for the loss of human life on both sides including the civilian population of Gaza who are being used once again as human shields by the Hamas terrorist government.
And we are deeply troubled about the exportation of this conflict already on to the streets of Europe with anti-Semitic slogans and demonstrations targeting our communities.
We pray for a speedy resolution to this crisis to enable all the people in the region to live lives of peace and security.
The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Baroness Catherine Ashton has blamed Hamas for the current escalation of violence in Israel and the Gaza Strip.
In a statement issued in Brussels , Ashton said Hamas rocket attacks on Israel “began this crisis” and were “totally unacceptable for any government and must stop”.
“Israel has the right to protect its population from these kinds of attacks. I urge Israel to ensure that its response is proportionate” she said.
Hamas militants have fired hundred of rockets into population centres in Israel with three people killed in a rocket attack on the southern town of Kiryat Malachi on Thursday.
Rockets have also been targeted for the first time at the Tel Aviv metropolitan area with all schools closed within a 40 kilometer radius of the Gaza Strip.