This morning, Israel conducted an operation inside Gaza targeting a senior leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. In response, rockets were fired from Gaza on southern and central Israel. The firing of rockets on civilian populations is totally unacceptable and must immediately stop. A rapid and complete de-escalation is now necessary to safeguard the lives and security of Palestinian and Israeli civilians. The European Union fully supports the efforts of Egypt in this regard. As the EU has consistently reiterated, only a political solution can put an end to these continuing cycles of violence.