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European Union pushes for Palestinian statehood, rejecting Netanyahu’s insistence

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Smoke rises throughout an Israeli floor operation in Khan Younis, because the battle continues between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, as seen from Rafah, southern Gaza Strip.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

European Union Foreign Ministers argued on January 22 that the creation of a Palestinian state is the one credible technique to obtain peace within the Middle East, and so they expressed concern about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s clear rejection of the thought.

“The declarations of Benjamin Netanyahu are worrying. There will be a need for a Palestinian state with security guarantees for all,” French Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Sejourne instructed reporters in Brussels, the place the EU Ministers met to debate the conflict in Gaza.

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Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz and Jordan’s Foreign Minister, Ayman Safadi, additionally had been in Belgium’s capital for the dialogue. The situation of Gaza’s future additionally has set Israel in opposition to the United States and its Arab allies as they work to mediate an finish to the combating within the besieged Palestinian territory.

The Palestinian loss of life toll from the conflict between Israel and Hamas surpassed 25,000, the Health Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza reported. Israel mentioned Sunday that one other of the hostages taken in the course of the October 7 assault that triggered the conflict had died.

The EU is the world’s prime supplier of support to the Palestinians, however holds little leverage over Israel, regardless of being its largest buying and selling companion. The 27 member nations are additionally deeply divided of their strategy. But because the loss of life toll in Gaza mounts, so do requires a halt to the combating.

“Gaza is in a situation of extreme urgency. There is a risk of famine. There is a risk of epidemics. The violence must stop,” mentioned Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib, whose nation holds the EU’s rotating presidency.

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“We demand an immediate cease-fire, the release of the hostages, the respect of international law, (and) a return to the peace process, which must lead to the creation of two states living in peace side by side,” Mr. Lahbib mentioned, describing a two-state answer as “the only way to establish peace in a durable way in the region.”

Israel seems removed from attaining its objectives of crushing Hamas and releasing the greater than 100 remaining hostages. But Mr. Netanyahu rejects Palestinian statehood and seems to need open-ended army management over Gaza.

The dispute over the territory’s future — coming because the conflict nonetheless rages for ever and ever — pits the EU, the United States and their Arab allies in opposition to Israel and poses a serious impediment to any plans for postwar governance or reconstruction in Gaza.

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The EU invited the Foreign Ministers of Israel, the Palestinians, Egypt, Jordan and a consultant of the Arab League to participate in Monday’s talks. The Ministers from Israel and the Palestinians weren’t as a result of meet one another.

The European Ministers wish to hear what different plans Israel might need.

“Which are the other solutions they have in mind?” EU overseas coverage chief Josep Borrell, who chaired the assembly, requested. “To make all the Palestinians leave? To kill off them?”

Mr. Borrell condemned what he described because the atrocities dedicated by Hamas throughout its unprecedented October 7 assaults in southern Israel. Referring to the Israeli army motion, he mentioned: “They are seeding the hate for generations.”

“Peace and stability cannot be built only by military means,” he mentioned.

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Spain has pushed for a peace convention to debate what may occur as soon as the combating is over. A future assembly in Brussels is within the works, however the timing stays unclear. The plan has the backing of some EU member nations, however others say it could possibly solely occur with Israel’s assist.

“If Israel is not (at) the table, there is no use to have peace conferences,” Luxembourg Foreign Minister Xavier Bettel mentioned. He mentioned that after latest discussions with Israel officers, it was clear to him that the nation will not be prepared so long as it believes that Hamas nonetheless poses a hazard.

Arriving on the assembly, Israel’s Mr. Katz refused to reply when requested about the potential of Palestinian statehood. Holding up footage of Israeli hostages, Mr. Katz mentioned he had come to hunt assist for Israel’s marketing campaign to dismantle Hamas.

“We have to bring back our security. Our brave soldiers are fighting in very hard conditions,” he instructed reporters. The Israeli authorities’s goals, Mr. Katz mentioned, are clear: “to bring back our hostages and restore security for the citizens of Israel.”

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