Israel is acting "contrary to international law" with elements of its military intervention in Palestine, EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell has claimed. (EPA-EFE/FAISAL AL BALUSHI)


Israel acting ‘contrary to international law’ over Palestine, says Borrell


Israel is acting “contrary to international law” with elements of its military intervention regarding Palestine following the Hamas attack on October 7, European Union foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell has claimed.

The Eurocrat particularly criticised an Israeli decision to cut off the supply of electricity, food, water and fuel to the Gaza Strip as part of a “complete siege” on the enclave.

Speaking after an informal meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers, Borrell stated that while Israel had a right to defend itself from militant groups, it could not take actions that violate international regulations.

“Some of their actions, and the United Nations have already said that, like cutting water, cutting electricity and food to a mass of civilian people, is against international law,” he told reporters.

“Everybody has to abide to international humanitarian law, and the United Nations and myself, we have pointed out that in some cases, this is not the case.”

Borrell also emphasised that the EU would continue giving humanitarian aid to Palestine despite some accusations that the resources were ending up in the hands of Hamas.

He also claimed that the majority of EU foreign ministers at the national level were in favour of keeping aid to the region flowing. That is despite an initial announcement from European Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi that the support would be suspended pending an investigation.

“I do not know exactly when the next payment will be done, but the important thing is that there is not going to be any structural delay of the cooperation and payments,” Borrell said.

“The overwhelming majority was against the idea or the proposal of suspending the payments to the Palestinian Authority,” he added.

“If they consider that a review has to be done, we will do a review, but this does not mean that support to the Palestinian Authority has been suspended or the payments cancelled.”

Borrell’s statement continues the apparent trend of mixed messaging from the EU on the current conflict between Israel and Palestinian Islamists.

Eurocrats had initially appeared to be throwing their weight behind Israel in the opening hours of the latest conflict, with Várhelyi announcing a pause on EU aid to Palestine until a review could be conducted.

EU solidarity on the issue quickly collapsed after that, with the Irish Government coming out to condemn the EC’s purported decision, claiming that it did not have the competence to pause such aid.

Berlaymont performed a U-turn on the move, stating that while a review of the funding would be conducted, no pause would take place. It added that the EU would continue to be Palestine’s single biggest aid donor.

Many Left-leaning politicians and governments in various EU states have also opted to back Palestine over Israel, with senior members of Ireland’s Sinn Féin party voicing support for the largely unrecognised primarily Muslim state.