Bulgaria is deeply concerned about the situation in southern Israel and the Gaza Strip in recent days.
We condemn rocket fire from the Gaza Strip against cities and other civilian targets in southern Israel carried out by Hamas and other militant groups. Such actions constitute a violation of international law and are totally unacceptable. Israeli citizens have the right to live safely and without fear for their lives. We call on Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza to stop the attacks immediately.
I express my condolences to the families of victims among the civilian populations on both sides. We call on those involved in the conflict not to jeopardize the lives of civilians, which leads only to innocent victims and further escalation of the crisis.
Bulgaria supports the right of every country to defend its territory and its citizens. In exercising this right, Israel should however take strict measures to avoid civilian casualties among the Palestinian population.
Military actions are not in the interest of anyone, especially at a time when the region is so unstable. The events of recent days and last night once again emphasize the need for the resumption of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority - which is the only way to achieve a lasting and peaceful solution to the Middle East conflict in accordance with international principles and norms.