EU President Czech Republic: Israeli ground incursion defensive, not offensive action
"At the moment, from the perspective of the last days, we understand this step as a defensive, not offensive, action," Czech EU presidency spokesman Jiri Potuznik said.
Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg is leading an EU delegation to the region on Sunday, and Potuznik said the presidency will wait to see the results of that visit.
The Czech Republic already defended Israel's strikes against Hamas last week. At the time, Foreign Minister Schwarzenberg said Israel had the right to defend itself.
"Let us realize one thing: Hamas increased steeply the number of rockets fired at Israel since the ceasefire ended on Dec. 19. That is not acceptable any more," Schwarzenberg told daily Mlada Fronta Dnes in an interview.
Schwarzenberg, a staunch ally of Washington, said Hamas had excluded itself from serious political debate due to its rocket attacks on Israel. He also indirectly blamed the group for the growing death toll, saying it put its bases and gun warehouses in densely populated areas.
"Why am I one of the few that have expressed understanding for Israel? ... I am enjoying the luxury of telling the truth," Schwarzenberg told the daily.
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