Israeli-Palestinian conflict: EU ministers discuss possibility of humanitarian ceasefire

Gaza urgently needs "more and faster" aid, Josep Borrell, the EU's foreign policy chief, told a meeting of European foreign ministers on Monday morning to discuss a humanitarian ceasefire.

"What is important? More aid and faster," Borrell said in Luxembourg before the meeting began, calling the aid that has reached Gaza so far "insufficient".

"What is important? More aid and faster."

Borrell plans to discuss with European foreign ministers a ceasefire in order to distribute humanitarian aid, which has also been advocated by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. European leaders are due to discuss the issue at a summit in Brussels later this week.

But some foreign ministers acknowledged that Borrell's proposal would be difficult to realise. ​ "There is a terrorist organisation that controls Gaza, that fires rockets every day, that has carried out a barbaric attack on Israeli territory," said Czech minister Jan Lipavsky. "So the question is how to achieve such a ceasefire. It must come from both sides."

"It is squaring the circle, but we have to do it together."

German minister Annalena Baerbock also noted that "we cannot contain the humanitarian disaster if terrorism in Gaza continues in this way". "We have to fight terrorism (...) and at the same time do everything to alleviate the incredible suffering of two million Gazans. It is squaring the circle, but we have to do it together."

Gaza has been completely sealed off from Israel since the Hamas terrorist attack on 7 October. Last weekend, for the first time, several dozen trucks carrying medicine, food and other supplies were able to enter Gaza through the Egyptian border crossing at Rafah. The UN is calling for at least 100 trucks a day for Gaza's 2.4 million people.


Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. © Khaled DESOUKI / AFP


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