Supplies of weapons to Israel should be reduced as the country’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ignored international calls to avoid civilian casualties during the IDF’s military operation in Gaza, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has said.
According to the latest figures from Gaza’s health ministry, 28,473 people have been killed and 68,146 more wounded in Israeli airstrikes and the ground offensive against the Palestinian enclave. The IDF has been attacking Gaza since the Palestinian armed group Hamas launched its October 7 strike on Israel, in which around 1,200 people lost their lives and some 240 were taken hostage.
During a press conference on Monday, Borrell recalled the words of US President Joe Biden, who said last week that the Israeli response to the Hamas attack had been “over the top.” He also noted that other high-ranking Western officials have been making similar statements recently.
“Well, if you believe that too many people are being killed, maybe you should provide less arms in order to prevent the killing of so many people,” the EU’s top diplomat suggested.
”If the international community believes that this is a slaughter, that too many people are being killed, maybe we have to think about (stopping) the provision of arms,” he added.
Borrell then lashed out at the Israeli PM personally, saying “everybody goes to Tel Aviv, begging: ‘Please don’t do that, protect civilians, don’t kill so many.’ How many is too many? What is the standard?” But all the pleading remains in vain, because “Netanyahu doesn’t listen to anyone,” he stated.
Israel claims that it’s doing everything possible to reduce the civilian casualties, while blaming the deaths on Hamas, which it says uses the residents of Gaza as human shields.
NBC reported on Monday, citing multiple sources, that Biden has also been angered by Netanyahu’s insistence on continuing attacks on Gaza. The US leader allegedly called the Israeli PM an “assh*le” and “a pain in my ass” in private conversations.
The Israeli media reported in late December that the IDF had received 230 planes and 20 ships loaded with US arms amid the conflict in Gaza. The deliveries allegedly included artillery shells, armored vehicles and basic combat tools for soldiers.
On Tuesday, the US Senate passed a $95 billion emergency spending bill, which includes another $14.1 billion in security assistance for Israel. However, the legislation still needs approval from the House, where it’s expects to face strong resistance from the Republicans, who want more money to be allocated to the protection of the US-Mexico border.