Sánchez and three other EU prime ministers call for a “clear and common” position from the Union on Gaza: “Our credibility is at stake”
The President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, and three other Prime Ministers of the European Union (the Belgian Alexander de Croo, the Irish Leo Varadkar and the Maltese Robert Abela) sent a letter this Saturday to the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, calling for a “serious debate” at the European Council next week with the aim of agreeing on “a clear and common position on the conflict” of the Twenty-Seven.
“Two months after the start of hostilities, the number of fatalities and the terrible humanitarian situation have reached alarming levels,” the letter states. “These are dark hours for millions of people in Palestine and Israel. Anti-Semitic incidents have resurfaced across Europe and we cannot tolerate it.”
After reiterating their condemnation of Hamas attacks on Israeli territory and insisting that Israel has the right to defend itself “within international and humanitarian law,” the four leaders ask the EU to “go further.”
The prime ministers want the EU to adopt three positions: the first, to call for a “durable” humanitarian ceasefire that “can lead to the end of hostilities.”
The second, “immediately adopt effective measures to protect innocent civilians.” “Humanitarian aid must reach those who need it in a sustained manner and in sufficient quantity,” the letter notes. “Preventing aid from reaching civilians may contravene international law.”
The third, and possibly the most controversial, is to “open a political process to realize the two-state solution” and “provide adequate financial and political support to the Palestinian Authority to take control of Gaza”, something, they say, “also vital for Israel’s security.” “You can’t go back to status quo prior to October 7,” the letter indicates.
The three positions contrast with the intentions expressed by Israel.
The prime ministers also call for “prohibiting movement in specific areas and freezing the assets of violent settlers who are attacking communities of displaced Palestinians” to “avoid an escalation in the West Bank.”
The four European leaders have urged the convening of an international peace conference with the parties “as soon as possible”, as agreed by the European Council on October 26. “The credible prospect of recognition of a Palestinian State, together with the State of Israel, is the basis for progress towards mutual recognition, peace and security in the region,” they indicate.
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