Israel-Hamas: 26 out of 27 EU countries call for “immediate humanitarian pause”

Twenty-six countries out of the 27 in the EU called on Monday for an “immediate humanitarian pause” in Gaza, at a time when the Israeli army says it is preparing an offensive in the south of the Palestinian territory where the Islamist terrorist group Hamas is in power. , indicated the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell.

This request, which Hungary has not taken up, means a “stopping of the fighting” in order to then allow a lasting ceasefire, explained Mr. Borrell during a press conference, at the resulting from a meeting of European Union foreign ministers.

The war in Gaza erupted when Hamas sent 3,000 armed terrorists into Israel on October 7 to carry out a brutal attack in which they killed nearly 1,200 people. The terrorists also took 253 people hostage, mostly civilians, and took them to Gaza. Israel responded by launching a military campaign aimed at destroying Hamas, removing it from power in Gaza and freeing the hostages.

The 26 countries said they were “very concerned” about the possibility of an offensive in Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip, Mr. Borrell added. The situation in Gaza is catastrophic and could be “even worse” if Israel maintains its willingness to carry out this offensive, he said.

These 26 states are asking Israel not to launch military action in Rafah, Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib said on X.

Fighting continued on Monday in the Gaza Strip where Israel announced its intention to continue its offensive against Hamas during Ramadan if the hostages are not released by then, including in the Rafah region, in the south, where nearly a million and a half Palestinian civilians are refugees.

Asked about Hungary’s refusal to join the request of the 26 other states, Mr. Borrell refused to comment, stressing however that if the EU intends to “play a role” in the region, it will not be able to do it only if it is “united”.

Europeans are very divided on the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Some countries, including Hungary, emphasize Israel’s right to defend itself, while others, such as Spain or Ireland, are calling for an immediate ceasefire to put an end to the violence.

This article is originally published on fr.timesofisrael.com

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