EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell emphasized the significance of a four-day truce as an initial step in addressing the Israel-Hamas conflict but stressed the need for more comprehensive measures to navigate the ongoing crisis.
Speaking at the Forum for the Union of the Mediterranean in Barcelona on Monday, Borrell, who urged for Israel’s participation, cautioned against the “recolonization of Gaza” and advocated for the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza as the optimal path for ensuring Israel’s peace and security.
Despite Israel’s absence at the Forum, Borrell’s remarks underscored the critical role of a credible Palestinian statehood prospect in achieving a lasting resolution.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al Maliki and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan were expected to address the meeting on behalf of ministers from the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
Borrell expressed hope that the four-day truce, initiated last week, would endure beyond its initial timeframe.
This truce marks the first cessation of hostilities in the seven-week conflict initiated by Hamas, resulting in 1,200 casualties and approximately 240 hostages taken back into Gaza.
In response, Israel launched airstrikes and a ground offensive, leading to the deaths of around 14,800 Palestinians, as reported by Gaza health authorities, and displacing hundreds of thousands. The ongoing diplomatic efforts highlight the urgency of finding a sustainable resolution to the complex and protracted Israel-Hamas conflict.