The 28 European Union foreign ministers meeting in Brussels Tuesday issued a statement strongly condemning ‘’the indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israel by Hamas and militant groups in the Gaza Strip, directly harming civilians. These are criminal and unjustifiable acts.’’ The EU called on Hamas ‘’to immediately put an end to these acts and to renounce violence’’ and said ‘’all terrorist groups in Gaza must disarm.’’ The ministers also strongly condemned Hamas ‘’calls on the civilian population of Gaza to provide themselves as human shields.’’

At a press conference after the ministerial meeting, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said all ministers recognized ‘’Israel's legitimate right to defend itself against any attacks’’ but underlines that the Israeli military operation “must be proportionate and in line with international humanitarian law.’’