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EU leaders to hold emergency virtual summit on Middle East on Tuesday

EU leaders meet in Granada

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Council President Charles Michel said on Saturday that he had convened a video conference summit of European Union leaders on Tuesday to discuss the Hamas attacks on Israelis and Israel's response.

Michel said the bloc stood in "full solidarity" with the people of Israel after the "brutal terrorist attacks" of a week ago.

In an invitation letter to EU leaders, Michel said Israel had the right to defend itself in compliance with international law.

He said the siege of the Gaza Strip was raising alarm bells in the international community, prompting him to convene a video conference meeting on Tuesday at 1730 CET (1530 GMT).

"It is of utmost importance that the European Council, in line with the treaties and our values, sets our common position and establishes a clear unified course of action that reflects the complexity of the unfolding situation," he wrote.

Michel said the EU had to be an advocate of peace and respect for international law and should seek to avoid a regional escalation of the situation.

Michel said the conflict had the potential to feed extremism in EU societies and could prompt migration and movements of a large number of people to neighbouring countries.

(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Mark Potter)