The EU heads of state and government deliberated for hours. Do you want to demand a permanent ceasefire from Israel or just selective ceasefires? But Israel has its own ideas about this.
Israel has rejected the demand of the 27 EU states for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. “Israel currently rejects a humanitarian ceasefire,” said a spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry in response to the Brussels EU summit decision. This includes “any kind of requested ceasefire.”
But humanitarian aid is still possible “as long as it doesn’t end up in the hands of Hamas terrorists.” So far, very little relief goods have arrived in the sealed-off coastal area with more than two million inhabitants.
On Thursday, EU heads of state and government struggled for five hours over their demands on Israel. Spain wanted to enforce a complete ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, which was bombed by Israel in response to Hamas terror. This went too far for Germany and other countries. They did not want to restrict Israel’s right to defense so far.
The compromise wording was then “humanitarian corridors and breaks for humanitarian purposes” to enable, at least temporarily, safe supplies for the civilian population. But Israel rejects this too.
Macron speaks of “undifferentiated bombardment”
French President Emmanuel Macron spoke of an “undifferentiated bombardment” in view of the massive Israeli attacks on targets in the Gaza Strip. France fully recognizes Israel’s will and right to fight against Hamas terrorists and is ready to help. “But we are of the opinion that the complete blockade, the indiscriminate bombardment and even more the prospect of a massive ground offensive are not suitable for adequately protecting the civilian population,” he said.
Macron said he was asking that Israel take the time to prepare further steps well, with a view to a possible ground offensive. He called for a humanitarian ceasefire and announced a coalition with several European countries in order, among other things, to be able to set up a humanitarian corridor at sea.
Scholz cautious about Macron’s anti-Hamas alliance
During his trip to the Middle East at the beginning of the week, Macron had already suggested using the coalition founded in 2014 to combat the terrorist organization Islamic State against Hamas. “France is ready for the international anti-IS coalition, within which we are committed to our operations in Iraq and Syria, to also be able to fight against Hamas,” he said.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) expressed reservations about the initiative. The EU is now essentially concentrating on the things that were jointly decided at the summit in Brussels, he said. “And I think that’s what you should do.”
In addition to ceasefires and safe corridors, the heads of state and government had spoken out in favor of an early peace conference. Scholz expressly supported this idea. “It may be the right sign at the right time,” he said. EU Council President Charles Michel said that, in his opinion, such a conference could be organized in a few weeks or months.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.