The French presidency of the European Union called Saturday for an immediate halt to Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip and rocket fire against Israel from Gaza, where Israeli air strikes were reported to have killed at least 155 Palestinians. The EU presidency "expresses greatest concern at the escalation of violence in the Gaza Strip and deplores the very large number of civilian victims," a statement said. "It condemns the Israeli bombardments as well as the firing of rockets from Gaza. It demands their immediate halt. It condemns the disproportionate use of force." A spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana earlier Saturday said, "We are very concerned by the events in Gaza."