00:37 GMT21 June 2021
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    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - The European Union should take a more "realistic" approach toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and should pressure Israel to act in line with international law, Palestinian Ambassador to the EU Abdalrahim Alfarra said.

    "From the very beginning, in all of its statements, the EU had reiterated that it rejected the forced eviction of residents of the Sheikh Jarrah region, and rejected violations on the part of Israel in Jerusalem. After the start of clashes, the involvement of resistance in Gaza, the launch of rockets at Israel, the EU's position has changed somewhat. Now they are calling on the two sides to exercise restraint," Alfarra said.

    He stressed that if European countries do not recognize the state of Palestine, it will be very difficult to reach a settlement based on a two-state solution.

    "I would like for the EU to take a more realistic stance. The EU bears great responsibility, it is the EU that supports the settlement of the conflict based on the existence of two states, does not recognize any changes in the borders that existed before 1967, does not accept changes in Jerusalem. To implement this position it is necessary to put pressure on Israel by all possible means so that it observes international law," Alfarra said.

    He also pointed out that Russia plays an important role in the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well, particularly within the format of the Middle East Quartet, which also includes the UN, the US, and the EU.

    The ambassador said that demonstrations that have been held in various European countries in support of the Palestinians are also important, since they reflect the stance of the EU population.

    For the past several days, tensions have been on the rise on the border between Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip with around 2,800 rockets having been fired towards Israeli territory, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Several civilians and at least one soldier have been killed in Israel amid the rocket attacks. Israel has launched hundreds of aerial attacks at military targets in the Gaza Strip, with Palestine reporting over 140 deaths, including more than 40 children killed. According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, more than 1,300 Palestinians have been injured amid tensions with Israel.

    The UN Security Council has agreed to hold a meeting on Sunday to discuss the ongoing hostilities between Israel and Palestine in the Gaza Strip.

    Palestine, European Union, Gaza Strip, Israel
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