EU staff members protest Israel's war in Gaza

By Marta Fiorin

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - More than 100 staff members of European Union institutions gathered in Brussels on Wednesday in a protest against Israel's war in Gaza.

Protesters laid three rolled-up white sheets with red stains on them on the square outside the European Commission's head office in the Belgian capital.

On the three 'bodies' the words International Law, EU Treaties and Genocide Convention were written, in a protest of the way Israel has responded to the attacks by Hamas on Oct. 7.

"We're coming together in a peaceful assembly, to stand up for those rights, principles and values that the European institutions are build on," EU Commission staff member Manus Carlisle told Reuters.

"The reasons why we work here and love to work here. Those values of human rights, human dignity and freedom especially."

Fellow protester Simona Baloghova, who works for the European Committee of the Regions, added the protest should not be seen as a political statement.

"The idea of this protest is that we are neutral," she said. "We are not political, we just stand by the EU values."

Israel's offensive has killed more than 34,800 Palestinians in seven months of war in Gaza, most of them civilians, according to the Gaza health ministry.

The war began when Hamas militants attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing about 1,200 people and abducting 252 others, of whom 128 remain hostage in Gaza and 36 have been declared dead, according to the latest Israeli figures.

The European Commission had no comment on the protest.

(Reporting by Marta Fiorin; additional reporting by Andrew Gray; writing by Bart Meijer; editing by Jonathan Oatis)