EU chief calls on US to cut arms supplies to Israel 


The European Union foreign policy’s chief, Josep Borrell, has nudged the United States to cut the provision of arms supplies to Israel following the high civilian casualties in the Gaza war according to Asharq Al-Awsat plus agencies.

On the 5th of February, Borrell recalled US President Joe Biden’s words on Israel’s response to the Hamas attack being “over the top”. Other Western officials had continuously said that too many civilians were being killed in Gaza.

Borrell told reporters “If you believe that too many people are being killed, maybe you should provide less arms in order to prevent so many people being killed”, after a meeting of EU development aid ministers in Brussels.

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He stressed that it was contradictory for countries to frequently declare that too many civilians were being killed in Gaza by Israelis, but do nothing concrete to prevent the killing.

“If the international community believes that this is a slaughter, that too many people are being killed, maybe we have to think about the provision of arms”, he added.

The US gives Israel $3.8 billion in military aid annually, including fighter jets to powerful bombs and is Israel’s most important foreign arms supplies provider. Washington has so far not heeded any appeals to cut such aid.

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Borrell noted that on February 5th, a Dutch court ordered the Netherlands government to block all exports of F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel. This was due to concerns that they were being used in violations of international law in the Gaza war.

Though Israel has insisted it takes substantial measures to protect civilians, it is forced to conduct military operations in civilian areas such as Hamas. This is mainly because the Palestinian militant group responsible for the October 7th attack, operates there.

During his interview in Brussels, Borrell harshly critiqued Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accusing him of not listening to pleas to protect civilians.

He stated, “Netanyahu doesn’t listen (to) anyone”. He continued, appearing angry and emotional saying “Everybody goes to Tel Aviv, begging ‘please don’t do that, protect civilians, don’t kill so many’. How many is too many? What is the standard?”.

Borrell was sceptical of Netanyahu’s decision to call for an evacuation of Palestinian civilians from the Rafah area of Gaza, the last part of the enclave where people have found refuge. “They are going to evacuate? Where? To the moon? Where are they going to evacuate these people?” he said. The veteran Spanish politician also questioned how this could be done.

Asharq Al-Awsat/ Agencies.


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