The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, today advocated for dislodging the Islamist group Hamas from control of Gaza and for developing a viable economy in the Strip to prevent radicalization from growing, with the long-term perspective of a solution of “two states”, one Israeli and the other Palestinian.
“Gaza cannot be a safe haven for terrorists”Von der Leyen said at the annual conference in Brussels of community ambassadors.
The president of the community Executive reiterated that Israel has the right to defend itself but within international law and lamented that “the number of deaths and the suffering of civilians in Gaza is tragic,” for which he announced that Brussels will allocate an additional 25 million euros (almost 27 million dollars) in humanitarian aid to the Strip, which represents a total of 107 million dollars.
Although he avoided criticizing Israel’s military response, which must count on the “total solidarity” of the EU “after the worst mass murder of Jews since the Holocaust”, the German conservative called on Tel Aviv to “make an effort to avoid civilian casualties” in its offensive against Hamas, an organization considered terrorist by the European Union that “is clearly using Palestinian civilians and hostages as shields,” she said.
The president of the European Commission, who yesterday spoke with the president of Egypt, Abdel Fattah al Sisi, and tomorrow will receive King Abdullah II of Jordan in Brussels, indicated that the EU is working with Egypt, Israel and the UN to allow more to enter. humanitarian convoys in Gaza, while also trying to enable alternative corridors, such as a sea route from Cyprus.
Von der Leyen added that it is It is necessary for Hamas to release “now” the hostages it captured in its attack on October 7 and asked to do “everything possible to avoid a regional conflict and continue supporting “normalization between Israel and its neighbors.”
In the longer term, the community president called “restore hope for the Palestinians and for Israel” through the perspective of a two-state solution, for which he mentioned some guidelines.
“The terrorist organization Hamas cannot control or govern Gaza. There must be a single Palestinian Authority and a single Palestinian State.”said Von der Leyen, who advanced that “different ideas” are being discussed and, among them, the deployment of an international UN peacekeeping force in the Strip.
The German also stressed that “there cannot be long-term Israeli forces in Gaza,” since that territory “is an essential part of a future Palestinian state.”
He also asked that Tel Aviv not force the displacement of Palestinians “out of Gaza” and that it lift the economic embargo on the Strip because the “sustained blockade (…) has not worked.”
“It can only lead to more radicalization and what needs to be created is an economically viable Palestinian state,” he said.
The president of the Commission also referred in her speech to the war in Ukraine, a country that she visited again yesterday, and also to the relationship of “rivalry” and “cooperation” of the EU with China, as the other two major axes of action for European diplomacy.
In that sense, and referring to the context of the Middle East, Von der Leyen pointed out that Beijing supports “some of the most destabilizing forces in the world” and called on China to use any influence it may have on Iran and Hamas “to avoid a further escalation.”
(with information from EFE)