UNITED NATIONS: The European Union (EU) Wednesday said the regional body "deeply deplores the loss of life during the Gaza conflict, particularly the civilian casualties," and it "condemns all targeting of civilians and United Nations facilities during the conflict," which left more than 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis killed.
The statement came as Anders Liden, permanent representative of Sweden, was speaking at the plenary session of the General Assembly on behalf of the European Union.
The General Assembly opened the plenary session on Wednesday morning to take up the Goldstone report, which accused both Israel and Hamas militants of war crimes during the 22-day Gaza conflict that erupted on December 27, 2008.
"The UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict reports grave violations of international humanitarian law, including deliberating attacks on civilians," he said. "It is a serious report."
"The EU is committed to assessing it seriously," he said. "The EU takes note of the recommendations of the Mission and emphasizes the obligation of all parties to the conflict to respect humanitarian law and international human rights law."
"The European Union is deeply concerned over the deteriorating humanitarian and human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories," he said.
"The EU again urges the Palestinian Authority and the government of Israel to enter into serious peace negotiations as soon as possible, respecting previous agreements and international law, including fulfilling all Roam Map commitments."
"We reiterate the need to ensure a political solution, with two states -- Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable Palestinian state -- living side by side in peace and security," he said.
"If there is to be genuine peace, a way must be found to share Jerusalem as the further capital of two states," he said. " The EU will not recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders and those responsible must be held accountable."