EU aid chief criticises Israeli actions


BRUSSELS – Israel’s military strikes in the Gaza Strip were disproportionate and breach international law, the European Union’s aid chief was quoted as saying yesterday.

In some of the toughest criticism by an EU official since Israel began the offensive, European aid commissioner Louis Michel said Israel’s response to Hamas’s rocket attacks were “totally disproportionate”.

“One simple fact, acknowledged and denounced by established experts in the field, is that Israel is not respecting international humanitarian law,” Mr Michel told Belgian newspaper La Libre Belgique.

“The first obligation is that an occupying power has the obligation to preserve the life of populations, to protect them, to nourish them and to care for them. That is manifestly not the case here.”

Mr Michel said it was hard to pin the responsibility on any one party, saying it was clear that Hamas had harassed Israel with its rocket attacks. – (Reuters)