Josep Borrell has said he is "shocked by the human suffering" on both sides of the conflict
The European Union's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has urged Israelis to not be "consumed by rage" over Hamas' deadly October 7 attack, arguing that one act of violence can not warrant another.
Speaking during his first visit to Israel since the war between Israel and the Palestinian militants broke out last month, Borrell voiced solidarity with the Jewish state, but called on Israeli forces to use restraint in their ongoing incursion in Gaza.
"I understand your rage, but let me ask you not to be consumed by rage," he said, adding "Not far from here is Gaza. One horror does not justify another."
After arriving in Israel on Thursday, Borrell toured Kibbutz Be'eri, which saw heavy fighting during Hamas' surprise attack last month. Israeli officials say the Palestinian militant group killed 130 residents of the community on October 7.
"I know what a kibbutz means for the Israelis," the EU official continued, referring to his own time living on a kibbutz, which a type of a farming community, in the 1960s
Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, who traveled to Be'eri with Borrell, repeated his government's stance that Hamas ultimately bears all responsibility not only for the Israeli victims, but for Palestinians killed in Israel's retaliatory raids on Gaza as well.
"There is only one responsible for this atrocity, for the massacre of the seventh of October, for the world that started after and also the suffering of the people in Gaza - it's Hamas, which is sponsored by Iran," Cohen said.
More than 11,500 Palestinians have lost their lives in Israeli air and ground operations in Gaza, in addition to thousands more injured, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. Israeli officials say some 1,200 people were killed and more than 200 taken hostage during Hamas' attack, including a number of foreign nationals.
Borrell also vowed to discuss the plight of the Palestinians in an upcoming meeting with the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, part of a four-day trip to Middle Eastern states set to conclude next Monday. Doha maintains close ties with Hamas' political leadership, and has worked to secure the release of hostages taken by the armed group.