EU 'failed to protect citizens' from Gaza rockets

By Jessica Elgot, October 7, 2009
Follow Jessica on Twitter

Fifteen European citizens living in Israel are taking legal action against the European Union for failing to protect them from Palestinian rocket fire while they are living in Israel.

The citizens, of Britain, France, Italy and Hungary, who are all currently living in Israel, have filed a claim with the European Commission demanding that the EU intervenes in the funding of terrorism in Gaza, and takes action to protect them from terrorists while they live in Israel.

They claim that the EU has a duty under Article 3.2 of the European Treaty to offer its citizens “an area of freedom, security and justice.”

All 15 litigants currently live in the southern Israeli town of Sderot, which has been an ongoing target of Kassam rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip.

They are supported by the European Initiative, Europe's pro-Israeli lobby organisation.

The group is demanding that the EU stops the transfer of European money to Hamas, prevents known terrorists and their leaders entering the EU, and prevents non-profit organisations misusing European funds.

They also ask the EU to undertake “any means possible” to protect European citizens living in Israel against terrorism.

The European Commission has confirmed the complaint has been received from lawyers Mordechai Tzivin in Israel and Hugo and Roel Covaliers in Belgium. It has been sent to the Commission’s external relations department.

Mr Tzivin said: "The European Initiative estimates that more than 50,000 EU citizens are living in towns and villages at the southern areas of Israel, nearby the border with Gaza, and they are exposed to consistent Palestinian terrorists’ rocket attacks.

“Most of the EU-Israelis, like all other Israeli civilians in these areas, are suffering from mental trauma and some of them have suffered severe property damages.

“The EU must take responsibility for them and prevent any EU financial assistance from getting to terrorist hands in Gaza".

    Last updated: 2:20pm, October 8 2009