EU diplomat suggests US cut military aid to Israel

The European Union's foreign policy chief has criticized Israeli commanders for being "excessive" in the offensive in Gaza. Josep Borrell said on Monday that US officials should rethink military aid.

Israeli commanders have been preparing for an offensive in southern city of Rafah, where more than a million Palestinians have taken shelter. They said they need to eliminate Hamas militants from the area.

US President Joe Biden said last week that the offensive in Gaza has been "over the top." Borrell said talking about civilian deaths while doing nothing is "contradictory." "If you believe that too many people are being killed, maybe you should supply less arms," he said.

Borrell chaired a meeting of EU ministers in Brussels. They focused on the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. Israeli officials have accused agency staff of being involved in the Hamas attack in October on Israeli villages. US and other donor nations responded to the accusations by suspending funding.

The head of UNRWA, Philippe Lazzarini, said those funds are "absolutely critical." He said the remaining staff members will learn over the coming days whether they will be able to continue to operate.