The European Union on Monday expressed "deep concern" by the renewed violence between Israel and Gaza, and urged both sides to exercise restraint. "I am very concerned by the renewed violence between Israel and Gaza. I condemn the firing of rockets and mortars into Israel and calls on both parties to exercise restraint so as not to exacerbate the situation," said the representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, in a statement.
The latest fighting erupted on Saturday after an anti-tank rocket fired against an Israeli army jeep at the edge of the Gaza Strip, which resulted in retaliatory artillery fire against the Palestinian territory. The Israeli army conducted today new air raids on the Gaza Strip, leading a response by Palestinian fighters.
Catherine Ashton said she "supports the mediation efforts of Egypt", which seeks to enforce a ceasefire on armed groups in Gaza. "It is only by resuming negotiations that the legitimate aspirations of Palestinians and Israelis will be fulfilled via a two-state solution," said Catherine Ashton.