European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell issued a surprising comparison, saying that the immense destruction in Gaza might be “even greater” than the damage to German cities during World War II.
Calling the ongoing Israeli aerial bombardment which has left much of the Strip in rubble “catastrophic, apocalyptic”, he described that it could be “more or less or even greater than the destruction suffered by the German cities during the Second World War,” according to AFP.
He further acknowledged that Israel’s ground and air operations have resulted in “an incredible number of civilian casualties” – at a moment Gaza’s health ministry in recent days said the death toll has surpassed 17,700. Common estimates claims that at least two-thirds of these are civilian deaths, with the majority of these being women and children.
“The human suffering constitutes an unprecedented challenge to the international community,” Borrell added. He said that the continuing Israeli offensive was disproportionate in terms of a response to the terror attacks of Oct.7, in which some 1,200 or more Israeli civilians and soldiers were killed.
The EU top diplomat also addressed the spiraling situation in the West Bank, where in some cases entire towns like Jenin have been declared by the IDF closed military zones amid street clashes. He said the EU is “alarmed by the violence in the West Bank by extremist settlers” while condemning Israel’s recent decision approving 1,700 more housing units in Jerusalem.
On this point too, the White House lately unveiled travel sanctions against well-known Jewish settlers who have been found leading settlement expansions deemed illegal by international law.
As for Borrell’s controversial WWII comparison, it could be that he’s reading reports in the Financial Times. One FT report issued a week ago made precisely the same comparison in the following:
Citing estimates of damage to urban areas, military analysts say the destruction of northern Gaza in less than seven weeks has approached that caused by the years-long carpet-bombing of German cities during the second world war.
Financial Times found the damage to northern Gaza was comparable to the most heavily bombed cities of Germany in World War II. “Dresden, Hamburg, Cologne — some of the world’s heaviest-ever bombings are remembered by their place names,” Robert Pape, a US military historian who focuses on air power, told FT. “Gaza will also go down as a place name denoting one of history’s heaviest conventional bombing campaigns.”
None of this has stopped the US bombs, including some of the heaviest in America’s arsenal, from flowing to Tel Aviv. Reportedly Israel has even received 2,000-pound bunker buster bombs from Washington for use in the Gaza War.