Zelensky visits Kharkiv in show of support for city pounded by Russian strikes

Zelensky visits Kharkiv in show of support for city pounded by Russian strikes
Zelensky visits Kharkiv in show of support for city pounded by Russian strikes

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - Letter signed by EU staffers states ‘growing concern’ at bloc’s response to Gaza war

LONDON: More than 200 EU staff have signed a letter to top officials criticizing the union’s humanitarian response to the war in Gaza.

The 211 signatories condemned the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas on Israel “in the strongest terms,” but voiced “growing concern” at the “continued apathy to the plight of Palestinians” following the International Court of Justice’s January ruling suggesting a credible risk of genocide in Gaza.

They added that Israel abandoning a rules-based global order in favor of one determined by use of force is contrary to the EU’s core values.

“It was precisely to avert such a grim world order that our grandparents, witnesses of the horrors of World War II, created Europe,” the signatories declared.

“To stand idly by in the face of such an erosion of the international rule of law would mean failing the European project as envisaged by them. This cannot happen in our name.”

The letter, which will be delivered to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola and European Council chief Charles Michel, urges EU leaders to call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire, the release of all hostages, and a halt to arms exports by EU members to Israel.

It added: “The EU’s inability to respond to these increasingly desperate calls is in clear contradiction with the values that the EU stands for and that we stand for.”

The move comes a few weeks after around 100 EU staff members protested against the war in Brussels.

One of the marchers, Manus Carlisle, told Reuters: “We’re coming together in a peaceful assembly, to stand up for those rights, principles and values that the European institutions are built on.”

Zeno Benetti, one of the organizers of the letter, told The Guardian: “We couldn’t believe that our leaders who were so vocal about human rights and who described Europe as the beacon of human rights were suddenly so silent about the crisis unfolding in Gaza.

“It’s like suddenly we were asked to turn a blind eye on our values and on the values that we were allegedly working for. And for us, this was not acceptable.”

Benetti added: “We signed because we think that what’s happening is jeopardising principles of international law that we deem important and that we take for granted.”

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