Friday, 1 Dec 2023 - 18 of Kislev, 5784

EU’s Borrell suggests a humanitarian pause together with access to the hostages through the ICRC

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Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ruled out any temporary truces until all hostages detained in Gaza Hamas in the October 7 attack are released.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has suggested a plan under which Israel could suspend its military operation in Gaza in return for the Red Cross getting access to hostages held by Hamas.

“I think that a humanitarian pause counterbalanced by an access to hostages with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as a first step to their release is an initiative in which we should work,” Borrell said during the European Union ambassadors day in Brussels.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ruled out any temporary truces until all hostages detained in Gaza Hamas in the October 7 attack are released.

“Call it a truce, window, whatever, but we need that violence recedes and that international humanitarian law is being respected,” Borrell said.

Determined to destroy Hamas, whose October 7 attack left 1,400 people, mostly civilians, dead in Israel and saw over 240 hostages taken,

Borrell warned that an “overreaction by the Israelis in the end makes them lose the support of the international community”. “There is no military solution to the conflict,” Borrell said.

“Even if Hamas is uprooted in Gaza, this will not solve the problem of Gaza.”

Borrell said the attack by Hamas was an “inflection point in history” that would determine the future of the Middle East for decades.

“The unfolding tragedy in the Middle East is the outcome of a collective political and moral failure, which the Israeli and the Palestinian people are paying a high price for,” he said.

“This moral and political failure is due to our real lack of willingness to solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem.”

Austria last month criticized a statement made by Borrell that went against an earlier E.U. statement condemning Hamas for its Oct. 7 massacre of Israeli civilians. In the Oct. 28 tweet, Borrell appeared to condemn Israel, writing that “far too many civilians, including children, have been killed. This is against International Humanitarian Law.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Monday with some 80 foreign ambassadors  at the Kirya in Tel Aviv. They expressed their support for Israel and  said that they would work – each one in their own country – so that what occurred on October 7th would never be forgotten.

In response to a question on how it is possible to assist Israel, the Prime Minister said:

“First, to stand with Israel. I think that all civilized countries should stand with Israel because this is our common fight. And as I said, our battle is your battle and our victory is your victory.

He added, ‘’I also spoke yesterday to the president of the Red Cross and I asked her to personally be involved in an effort that we’ve been talking to the Red Cross from day one of the war, that is to demand an immediate and unconditional release of the hostages and access to the hostages and information about the hostages. Something that is required by humanitarian international law and Hamas violates as well.’’


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