Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjartoon Tuesday slammed the EU’s “one-sided” statements on Israel as his European counterparts called for a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians.
“I have a general problem with these European statements on Israel… These are usually very much one-sided, and these statements do not help, especially not under current circumstances, when the tension is so high,” Szijjarto told AFP in an interview.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Tuesday called for the implementation of a ceasefire to stop fighting between Israel and the Palestinians.
“The priority is the immediate cessation of all violence and the implementation of a ceasefire,” Borrell said after a video conference of EU foreign ministers, adding the statement was backed by all the bloc’s member states except Hungary.
Szijjarto himself did not attend the meeting. Hungary has recently used its veto power to block EU statements on China.
In the interview with AFP, Szijjarto insisted that blocking decisions “is a right of every country in the European Union.
“EU diplomacy should not consist only of judgements, negative statements and sanctions,” he said.
“So I think less judgment, less lecturing, less criticism, less interference and more pragmatic cooperation could give back a lot of strength to the European Union.”
Palestinian terror groups in Gaza have fired over 3,000 rockets at Israel since last Monday.
Twelve people in Israel, including a 5-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl, have been killed in the rocket fire, and hundreds have been injured.
According to Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry, at least 212 Palestinians have been killed so far in the nine days of the conflict, including more than 60 children. It was not immediately clear if this ministry tally included all of those killed or if there were Hamas operatives not included in the count.
According to the IDF, more than 120 of those killed were members of Hamas and over 25 were members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad as of Monday night.