“AND It is clear that we will have to look for new parameters in a solution that promotes peace. I proposed to the ministers a mental scheme, a structure. I believe that ministers have agreed to support this approach, with a view to working quickly”, announced the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, at a press conference.
The leaders of the 27 countries addressed the situation in Gaza after demanding, in a joint statement on Sunday, immediate humanitarian pauses so that aid can reach civilians in the Gaza Strip.
Borrell reported, at the end of a Council of Foreign Affairs ministers in Brussels, that he proposed to the ministers a working framework that he summarized in “three yes and three no”.
On the one hand, he stated that there cannot be a forced displacement of Palestinians out of Gaza, nor an occupation by Israel and a return of Hamas to that enclave, nor a “dissociation” of the issue of the Strip from general issues.
On the other hand, Borrell said “yes” to the return to Gaza of a reinforced Palestinian Authority – which already governs the West Bank -, under the terms of reference and legitimacy decided by the UN Security Council; “yes” to stronger involvement of Arab countries in search of a solution; and “yes” to greater EU commitment in the region, in particular with the construction of the Palestinian State.
“We have been too absent in solving this problem that we delegated to the United States, but now Europe has to do more”, defended Borrell, adding that, otherwise, “we will live in a cycle of violence that will be perpetuated from generation to generation, from funeral to funeral”.
The head of European diplomacy added that the “tragedy” that is occurring due to the war between Israel and Hamas “must be an occasion for everyone to understand that it is necessary to look for a solution that can only be based on the construction of two States” .
Borrell also maintained that there must be Palestinian leaders in Gaza with “legitimacy defined and decided by the UN Security Council”, which is “strongly supported” by the international community (instead of the Islamist movement Hamas, in power in that territory since 2007 and classified as a terrorist organization by the EU, the United States and Israel, among others).
He therefore called for the involvement of Arab states in the future of Palestine, as well as the EU and the international community, to stabilize the Gaza Strip, the target of continuous bombing and a ground offensive by Israel since Hamas attacked, October 7, Israeli territory, causing 1,200 deaths, mostly civilians, around 5,000 injured and more than 200 hostages.
“There will be no solution without a strong commitment from the Arab States, which cannot be just financial,” he argued, referring to the countries in the region.
Regarding the EU, he urged “a greater commitment” from Member States and an end to the cycle of violence in the Middle East.
The High Representative will present this proposal during his trip to the region this week – which will include Israel, Palestine, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan – to discuss the war in the Gaza Strip and humanitarian access to that territory with the countries of the region .
The EU’s objective is to move forward with a plan that, although Brussels recognizes that it will be difficult for the bloc to implement alone, can obtain the support of Arab countries and the United States.
European foreign ministers today once again demonstrated varying degrees of support for the suspension of military operations in Gaza so that humanitarian organizations can work.
While France defended a “long-term pause” and Spain a “humanitarian ceasefire”, other countries did not go so far and there were some, such as the Czech Republic, that limited themselves to insisting on the “right to self-defense in the face of aggression “, as long as Hamas continues to attack Israel.
Borrell argued that the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza “is clearly not sufficient to allow the necessary number of trucks to pass” with supplies for the population of the Strip.
In retaliation for the October 7th attack – of unprecedented dimensions on Israel since the creation of the State in 1948 – the Israeli Government declared a war to “eradicate” Hamas, which began by cutting off the supply of food, water, electricity and fuel in the Gaza Strip and daily bombings, followed by a ground offensive that surrounded the city of Gaza.
The war in Gaza, which today entered its 38th day and continues to threaten to spread throughout the Middle East region, has so far claimed more than 11,000 deaths in the Gaza Strip, most of them civilians, and more than 1.6 million of displaced people, according to the most recent report from local authorities, controlled by Hamas.
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