European Council President Charles Michel, in a recent interview with Belgian newspaper Le Libre, emphasized the need for the European Union to avoid double standards in its approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Michel reiterated the recognition of Israel’s right to self-defense, stressing that it must be consistent with international law.
“Even wars have rules. We should advocate the application of international law and humanitarian law in this conflict, just as we do in the Ukraine war,” Michel said.
Responding to a question about whether European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s support for Israel, expressed without referencing international law during her visit amidst the conflict, had impacted the EU’s credibility as a neutral party, Michel acknowledged that some statements caused confusion and frustration in Arab nations.
He also noted that both he and the European Council, along with the EU’s foreign policy chief, have been actively clarifying the EU’s stance, affirming the EU’s commitment to a two-state solution.
Israel has launched relentless air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip – including hospitals, residences, and houses of worship – since a cross-border attack by the Palestinian resistance group Hamas on Oct. 7.
At least 11,078 Palestinians have been killed, including 4,506 children and 3,027 women. The Israeli death toll, meanwhile, is nearly 1,600, according to official figures.