BRUSSELS, December 2. /TASS/. More and more civilians continue to die in the Gaza Strip due to the resumption of hostilities in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, so Israel needs to respect the humanitarian law when exercising its right to self-defense, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.
"Regrettably, hostilities resumed in Gaza and we see how the already very high civilian death toll continues to increase. The way Israel exercises its right to self-defense matters. It's imperative that Israel respects International Humanitarian Law and the laws of war," Borrell wrote on his X page (formerly known as Twitter).
Tensions flared up in the Middle East after Hamas militants from the Gaza Strip attacked Israeli territory on October 7, killing residents of border settlements and taking more than 200 hostages. Hamas views its attack as a response to Israeli authorities’ steps against the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Israel declared a total blockade of the Gaza Strip and launched bombardments of the enclave and some areas in Lebanon and Syria.
On November 22, Hamas announced an agreement with Israel, which was brokered by Egypt and Qatar, on a four-day humanitarian truce in the Gaza Strip, which came into effect on November 24 at 7:00 a.m. local time (5:00 a.m. GMT). Under the deal, women and children held hostage in the enclave were to be released in return for the release of women and children from Israeli prisons.
Israel said that it was ready to extend the truce for one more day for the release of ten hostages in return for 30 Palestinian prisoners.
Early on December 1, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) blamed Hamas for violating the truce and said that it was resuming combat in the Gaza Strip.