Top EU diplomat accused of double standards over Israel-Hamas stance

The European Union’s top diplomat was accused of hypocrisy and double standards over his stance on Israel and Hamas, reports Middle East Monitor. 

Has the mask slipped? Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, was accused by some of taking a pro-Israeli stance despite previously portraying himself as a defender of Palestinian rights. 

During an interview with Al Jazeera’s Osman Ayfarah on November 19, the EU diplomat was asked, “Do consider what Israel is doing to be war crimes”. In response Borrell stated, “I am not a lawyer, but there is an international criminal court that will conduct the investigation.” . 

Straight after, when pressed on if Palestinian militant group Hamas’ assault on Israel on October 7 was a war crime, the Spaniard replied, “Yes, we (the European Union) consider that to be war crimes because it was the clear killing of civilians without any reason, killing them just because they were there, for no other reason.” 

READ: Top EU diplomat outlines post-war plan for Gaza

Israel have repeatedly flouted international law and have cut off Palestinians’ water, food, electricity and medicine supplies amongst other basic necessities. A move condemned by the UN and human rights groups worldwide. 

Borrell and the European bloc more generally faced backlash following the interview by many irate social media users who said that the diplomat’s argument lacked consistency. 

Mr Borell has been vocal about the tensions in the Middle East since the beginning of last month. Notably, he commented on how the blockaded Gaza, under the control of Hamas, should be run following the conflict between Israel and the militants, called for a ceasefire and condemned Israel’s repeated attacks on those living in the occupied West Bank. 

Dozens have been killed in the West Bank and over a thosuand have been severely injured as a result of IDF attacks since October 7. 

Al Jazeera/ Middle East Monitor

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