As a human rights "catastrophe" is unfolding in Gaza, the EU countries "must" call for an immediate cease-fire, rights group Amnesty International said on Monday.
"The expanding humanitarian and human rights catastrophe unfolding in Gaza urgently needs to end," Amnesty International said in a statement ahead of the European Union Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels on Monday.
The group urged the ministers attending the meeting to call for an "immediate" cease-fire by all parties to the conflict.
"While the EU has largely failed to reach a consensus position that is in line with international law or to outright call for a ceasefire, some member states, including Ireland, Belgium and Spain have called for a ceasefire, criticized human rights violations by Israel and Hamas and other armed groups, and respected people's right to peacefully protest," Eve Geddie, director of Amnesty's European Institutions Office, said in the statement.
The group stated that some states, including Austria, Czechia and Germany, have been blocking the EU from collectively calling for a cease-fire or "calling out violations of international humanitarian law by Israeli security forces."
Criticizing the stance of the bloc, she noted that the EU, which claims to be a champion of human rights and international law, is facing "a serious credibility crisis" in the eyes of people around the world.
Also calling for the release of hostages held by Hamas and the release of all arbitrarily detained Palestinians by Israel, the statement stressed the need for urgently allowing access to the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit those detained.
There are more than 7,000 Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails, according to estimates released by prisoners' affairs groups.
As the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip entered its 38th day, at least 11,180 Palestinians have been killed, including over 7,700 children and women, and more than 28,200 others have been injured, according to the latest figures by Palestinian authorities.
Thousands of buildings, including hospitals, mosques and churches, have also been damaged or destroyed in Israel's relentless air and ground attacks on the besieged enclave since last month.
The Israeli death toll, meanwhile, is nearly 1,200, according to official figures.