Israel’s plan to destroy Islamist Palestinian group Hamas in Gaza is not working and the European Union must pursue efforts to create a “two-state solution” despite Israeli opposition, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Monday.
Israeli Prime Minister had on Sunday reaffirmed a hard line against any Palestinian state as it would pose “an existential danger” to Israel. He said Israel would keep insisting on full security control over all territory west of the Jordan River, which would include Gaza and the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Borrell spoke at the monthly gathering of EU foreign ministers, attended this time by counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan and the Arab League secretary-general. The talks will focus mainly on the consequences of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel and Israel’s retaliatory offensive in Gaza.
Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz and Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki were making separate appearances at the meeting, which was also taking stock of the war in Ukraine.
Alluding to Israel’s stated objective of annihilating Hamas in its devastating three-month-old war in the Gaza Strip, Borrell told reporters: “What are the other solutions they have in mind. Make all the Palestinians leave? Kill all of them?…The way they are destroying Hamas is not the way to do it. They are sealing the hate for generations.”
Borrell said he wanted to press ahead with international efforts to create a process that would lead to a Palestinian state co-existing alongside Israel. The last talks to that end collapsed a decade ago amid mutual mistrust and intransigence.
Israel’s massive aerial and ground offensive in small, densely populated Gaza has killed more than 25,000 Palestinians, according to Hamas-run enclave’s health authorities, flattened built-up areas and left most of its 2.3 million people homeless. [Continue reading…]