In a stark warning on Sunday, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, highlighted the risk of a deepening spiral of violence in the Israel-Palestine conflict.
The warning comes amid Israel’s increasing attacks on Gaza, resulting in a rising civilian death toll within the besieged enclave.
Borrell, speaking at a press conference in Bahrain alongside Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani, stressed the urgency of addressing the escalating crisis. “There is no hierarchy between horrors. One horror does not justify another horror. And the pain that you inflict on the children of others will not justify, never, will not compensate the pain your children have been suffering. On the contrary, it will create a violent spiral that will come once again unless we get a peace, a sustainable peace,” he said, referring to the recent attack by the Palestinian group Hamas on Israel and the ongoing Israeli responses.
Turning attention to the UN Security Council’s recent resolution calling for “immediate, urgent and sustained humanitarian pauses” in the conflict, Borrell underscored the mandatory nature of these decisions.
“I want to remind that the decisions of the UN Security Council are not just words. They are compulsory. They have to be implemented,” he stated.
Expressing concern for the civilian casualties in Gaza, particularly women and children, Borrell insisted on respect for international humanitarian law and urged maximum restraint against civilians in his meetings with Israeli officials.
“But the number of casualties, in particular the number of children, makes us believe that much more needs to be done in order to preserve the lives of civilians,” he added.
Grateful for Qatar’s diplomatic efforts, Borrell acknowledged Qatar’s role as a key mediator, not only in the Middle East but also in various global crises.
The death toll in Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip since October 7 has reportedly reached a staggering 13,000, including over 5,500 children and 3,500 women, as confirmed by the media office in the besieged enclave on Sunday.
With injuries exceeding 30,000, of which more than 75% are children and women, and over 6,000 missing persons suspected to be buried under the rubble of fallen buildings, the situation in Gaza is dire.
Israel’s relentless strikes have left thousands of buildings, including hospitals, mosques, and churches, damaged or destroyed.
The Israeli blockade has further isolated Gaza, cutting off fuel, electricity, and water supplies, while aid deliveries have dwindled.
Despite growing calls for a cease-fire, Israel has rejected such appeals, linking any halt in hostilities to the release of hostages held by Hamas, further complicating efforts to resolve the crisis.