Geneva - In an urgent letter addressing the President of the European Union Commission, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor has accused EU officials and leaders of complicity in the ongoing Israeli war crimes against civilians in the Gaza Strip.
The human rights organisation called on Ursula von der Leyen and the EU to pressure Israel for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and end its genocide campaign against Palestinians, ongoing for the fourth consecutive week now. In its letter, Euro-Med Monitor stressed the critical need to force Israel to halt hostilities and create a humanitarian corridor so that aid can reach the people living in the Strip amid the humanitarian catastrophe.
Euro-Med Monitor vehemently denounced European complicity in the killing of Palestinian civilians in Gaza, emphasising that those responsible for approving the Israeli military strike should also be held accountable for their involvement in war crimes and crimes against humanity. EU leaders cannot stand idly by and even adopt pro-Israel positions while it is carrying out genocide in the Strip and denying Gazan citizens access to humanitarian aid, Euro-Med Monitor’s letter reads.
How many people must die, the letter continued, in order for EU leaders to demand a ceasefire in Gaza? In light of the huge death toll and stark numbers of Gazan victims, Israeli forces show a shocking disregard for the lives of civilians, Euro-Med Monitor added. It also emphasised that over 1.4 million people have had to flee their homes to seek refuge from Israel’s attacks, and many of them were targeted either during these attempts to escape, or as soon as they reached the southern region of Gaza.
Israel is committing grave crimes against humanity by waging this obvious extermination campaign, stated Euro-Med Monitor, while receiving political and financial backing from Western nations, including EU countries. The EU’s silence does not denounce Israel’s crimes or demand an immediate ceasefire, and is louder than the sound of the heavy Israeli artillery and the ongoing bombing of heavily populated residential areas for 23 days in a row, the letter charged.
The silence comes despite repeated calls for an end to Israeli attacks on Gaza from the UN, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, UN agencies working in Palestine, many members of the European Parliament.
The EU is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law, and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities, as laid down in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU). But the EU’s commitment to promoting peace and human rights will lose credibility if it does not respect the principle of human dignity in the face of the unfathomable death and destruction occurring in the Gaza Strip, said Euro-Med Monitor.
The human rights group confirmed that what is happening in Gaza has strayed far beyond the principle of self-defense, which EU leaders are hiding behind to justify their complicity in Israel’s crimes. The Israeli government cannot continue to monopolise the EU narrative about what it is doing to Gazans while claiming to be a third party advancing peace and dialogue.
While many EU officials are still calling for more war crimes in Gaza, Euro-Med Monitor warned that if the EU does not demand that Israel fully abide by international law and international humanitarian law, it will eventually lose all political clout and credibility, which will further erode its unity and influential role.
Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor called on the European Union to use its diplomatic influence to pressure Israel to halt hostilities and open a humanitarian corridor so that supplies can be rapidly delivered to the people of Gaza. Euro-Med Monitor further emphasised that all Member States should respect international law and abstain from offering any kind of support—whether financial, military, political, or through the spread of false information—to Israeli government officials who make decisions and give orders to carry out acts that amount to war crimes, such as genocide, collective punishment, and illegal military occupation against Palestinian civilians.
The international human rights organisation said that Israel has recently entered an even bloodier phase in its war on Gaza—currently in its fourth straight week—by intensifying its attacks and isolating the heavily populated strip, which is home to over 2.3 million people.