EU Foreign Policy Commissioner Josep Borrell urged a lasting truce between Israel and Hamas and a political solution to the conflict.
He spoke at the opening of the ministerial forum of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) in Barcelona on Monday, where he praised the truce as “an important first step” that needs to be “extended” and turned into a “permanent truce to allow work on a political solution.”
Borrell said that there can be no peace and security for Israel without a Palestinian state and that the Israeli army’s reprisals and the “suffering of civilians in Gaza” cannot be justified by any atrocity.
He also expressed his concern over the “high number of civilian casualties” in the Gaza Strip, “especially thousands of children and women,” and stressed “the need for unconditional humanitarian access to civilians in Gaza.”
Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit blamed the violence on the attempts to perpetuate the occupation, spread despair, and settle the Palestinian issue.
He said that this ideology, which led to the bloodshed and destruction, is still behind the killing of Palestinian civilians, including thousands of children, and that it must be confronted with all its abhorrent ideas.
Aboul Gheit emphasized that Gaza cannot be separated from the West Bank as if it were a separate issue and that any solution for Gaza must be part of a comprehensive solution based on the two-state vision.