EU diplomat expresses solidarity with Gaza victims of last wave of tension

A Palestinian man holds a flag during a protest against U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit to the West Bank, in Gaza City, on Jan. 31, 2023. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit to the West Bank prompted outrage among many Palestinians, who demonstrated on Tuesday to express their opposition to the U.S. top diplomat's presence in the Palestinian territory. (Photo by Rizek Abdeljawad/Xinhua)

An EU diplomat on Sunday expressed solidarity with the victims of the last wave of tension that broke out in May between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in the Gaza Strip.

“The reason we are here is to find out what happened and to talk with the affected people and their families,” Sven Kuhn von Burgsdorff, the EU Representative in Palestine who chaired a high-ranking delegation of representatives of EU missions, told reporters near one of the destroyed houses in the northern Gaza Strip.

The EU delegation, consisting of 20 ambassadors, came to Gaza from Israel to assess the humanitarian situation. They toured destroyed houses and listened to testimonies.

“The European missions’ representatives expressed their condolences to the victims of the tension, and it became clear from our information that the victims were mainly civilians,” Burgsdorff said.

He added that the European delegation “are looking forward to completing a report explaining what happened” during the last tit-for-tat military escalation between Israel and the PIJ.

On May 9, military tensions erupted between the Israeli army and the PIJ, which lasted for five days, but ended after Egypt brokered a cease-fire to avoid further human and material losses on both sides. ■

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