European Union foreign ministers were divided Monday over their response to Israel's military tactics in the Gaza Strip, which led to the deaths of 19 civilians last week.
At talks in Brussels, diplomats said Germany, Britain and the Czech Republic opposed publicly condemning Israel in a statement meant to be issued by foreign ministers later Monday.
Ireland, Sweden and Spain wanted to issue a stern declaration to criticize last week's Israeli military actions in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanun.
The attack, which Israel said was unintentional, led to widespread international condemnation. The United States, however, vetoed an Arab-backed UN Security Council resolution meant to condemn the Gaza offensive.
An EU official said the EU ministers were to reiterate "very strong concerns" over the deaths of civilians, warning Israel to show "utmost restraint" in its military actions, which a draft statement says "should not be disproportionate and should not be contrary to international humanitarian law."
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