European lawmakers: Palestinian terror groups committing ‘double war crimes’

May 14, 2021 by JNS
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More than 50 European lawmakers expressed solidarity with Israel while condemning Palestinian terror groups for their rocket fire on Israel and using their own populations as human shields.

Flags of European Union member nations near Europa Square in Vilnius, Lithuania. Credit: Šarūnas Burdulis via Wikimedia Commons.

In a letter spearheaded by the American Jewish Committee and its Transatlantic Friends of Israel Institute, the European lawmakers affirmed their “unwavering and steadfast support for the State of Israel in her hour of need.”

“We express our firm belief that the Jewish state—our key democratic ally—has, like all sovereign states, not only the right but the duty to defend its citizens against terror and rockets,” read the statement by leading legislators from the European Parliament and European national legislatures, including Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The statement went on to read, “It’s not only that these terrorists started this latest round of confrontation. Hamas and Islamic Jihad commit the double war crime of murdering Israeli civilians while using their own population as human shields. In stark contrast, the Israeli army, in its efforts to protect its own population, is doing its utmost to avoid harming Palestinian civilians, even warning them on cell phones ahead of attacks.”

The lawmakers added: “If we fail to hold Hamas and Islamic Jihad responsible for all casualties, it will only incentivize them to strike time and again, bringing ever more suffering to the Jewish state and the people of Gaza.”

“Given the abundance of misinformation in the media and some politicians’ mealy-mouthed ‘all-sides-ism,’ this powerful statement brings much-needed moral clarity into the debate.”

Daniel Schwammenthal, director of AJC’s Brussels-based European Union Office, the AJC Transatlantic Institute, who also serves as the Secretary-General of the Transatlantic Friends of Israel, praised the lawmakers for showing their support for Israel.

“This tremendous show of support from so many lawmakers from across Europe is of critical importance. Given the abundance of misinformation in the media and some politicians’ mealy-mouthed ‘all-sides-ism,’ this powerful statement brings much-needed moral clarity into the debate. Bravo to these courageous lawmakers!”

Similarly, Israel’s Ambassador to the European Union and NATO, Aharon Leshno-Yaar, thanked the European lawmakers and the American Jewish Committee for their “expressions of support.”

“Just like these lawmakers and others have done, I expect all of Europe to meet its commitment to the security of Israel, unequivocally condemn Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and show solidarity with the people of Israel,” he said.

The European Union has condemned the more than 1,3o0 rockets launched by Hamas towards Israel called for a de-escalation in the violence.

“The firing of rockets from Gaza against civilian populations in Israel is totally unacceptable and feeds escalatory dynamics,” the European Commission said in a statement issued late on Monday. “The significant upsurge in violence in the occupied West Bank, including in East Jerusalem, as well as in and around Gaza, needs to stop immediately.”


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