December 1, 2023

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The European Union fails to agree to call for a “humanitarian truce” to allow aid into Gaza – Politico

The European Union fails to agree to call for a “humanitarian truce” to allow aid into Gaza – Politico

LUXEMBOURG – European Union foreign ministers failed to reach an agreement during their meeting on Monday on recommending a “humanitarian truce” to allow aid to reach Palestinians in Gaza as Israel continues its air strikes on the blockaded enclave.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres Named for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” last week, but EU ministers discussed what Foreign Minister Josep Borrell described as a less ambitious “humanitarian truce.” Borrell stressed that while the European Union cannot “decision” a temporary pause, it can send a message that it supports such a pause.

While there is a “basic consensus,” several diplomats, who were granted anonymity to speak candidly about the meeting like others mentioned in this story, stressed that there is not the desired consensus. Borrell said ministers had not yet voted.

EU ambassadors discussed a draft text on a humanitarian truce on Monday afternoon that could be added to the final text that leaders will agree to at an EU summit later this week, but they were unable to reach a compromise even though a majority was in favour, according to As reported by the British newspaper “Daily Mail”. Two diplomats familiar with the discussion. One diplomat said that agreement on the language may be reached at the next meeting of ambassadors on Wednesday.

The move to support a “humanitarian truce” reflects growing concern within the European Union about Palestinian civilians in Gaza after two weeks of Israeli bombing following an attack by Hamas that killed 1,400 people. According to the Hamas-led Ministry of Health in Gaza, more than 5,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli air strikes in Gaza.

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Before the war between Israel and Hamas, more than 60% of Palestinians in Gaza depended on international aid. According to United Nations, and more 1.4 million Palestinians have been displaced since the beginning of the war.

Israel imposed a “total siege” on Gaza after the start of its war with Hamas, cutting off electricity, water and fuel for 2.2. One million people live in the besieged area, whose air, land and sea borders Israel has controlled since 2007, strictly limiting the movement of goods and people. Cindy McCain, executive director of the United Nations World Food Program, told Politico on Sunday that the ongoing blockade has pushed Palestinians in Gaza to the brink of starvation.

She said more aid must be provided.

So far, the leaders of the European Union And he confirmed Israel’s right to self-defense in line with international law, as well as the need for a two-state solution and the protection of civilians, but without calling for a cessation or cessation of hostilities.

Borrell and the diplomats explained that it is up to European Union leaders who will meet later this week to determine a common line.

Speaking to reporters at the end of the meeting, Borrell explained the difference between a ceasefire and a temporary pause. He said that a pause means “that something stops temporarily, and then continues, so it is of course a less ambitious goal than a ceasefire, which means complete agreement between the parties.”

At the beginning of the meeting, many countriesMember states, including the Netherlands, Spain, Ireland and Luxembourg, have called for an initiative to allow aid to reach Palestinians trapped in Gaza, using varying language ranging from “humanitarian pause,” “ceasefire,” or “humanitarian corridors.”

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Others seemed more skeptical: “We cannot stop the humanitarian catastrophe if terrorism from Gaza continues. Therefore, the fight against terrorism is essential,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told reporters.

Two diplomats said the mixed language of the humanitarian truce, humanitarian ceasefire and ceasefire left the group without a clear decision. A third diplomat expressed skepticism about the group’s ability to achieve consensus, pointing to countries like Austria that do not appear convinced to speak out in favor of a humanitarian truce.

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell | John Theis/AFP via Getty Images

Humanitarian aid has begun to arrive in Gaza, but it is not enough, Borrell He told reporters Before the Luxembourg meeting. “On the first day, twenty trucks were allowed in – 20. Yesterday, there were about 20 more. But in normal times, without the war, 100 trucks would enter Gaza every day. So it’s clear that 20 [trucks]“This is not enough,” he said.

Janez Lenarčić, European Commissioner for Crisis Management, who was invited by the ministers to the meeting, told Politico: Both sides, Hamas and Israel, need to agree on a temporary pause, and there is a commitment from both parties to ensure that aid reaches the Palestinians.

He added: “All participants are subject to international legal obligations, to provide safe and unhindered access to humanitarian aid for all participants.”