Wednesday, 22 May 2024
WorldBorrell, on Israel's 'no' to the two-state solution: “What alternative does it...

Borrell, on Israel’s ‘no’ to the two-state solution: “What alternative does it have? Let the Palestinians leave? Kill them?”

“We have to discuss with them [Israel] What solutions do you have in mind? What are the solutions you have in mind? Let all the Palestinians leave? Kill them?” This is how the high representative, Josep Borrell, expressed himself before the meeting of the EU foreign ministers with his Israeli counterpart, Israel Katz. In addition to that meeting, they have planned meetings with other actors involved in the conflict in the Middle East, such as the Palestinian Authority or the Arab promoters of the peace proposal. Borrell’s words come when the EU has begun to develop a peace plan that includes a two-state solution, which is the “only” option that the 27 see as viable to guarantee peace in the region. Borrell has assured that it is a “comprehensive approach.”

“We have to stop talking about peace, about the peace process, and start talking more specifically about a process for a two-state solution,” Borrell asked journalists upon his arrival at the Foreign Affairs Council. In a speech last Friday, he opted for the two-state solution to be “imposed” on Israel “from the outside” given its constant refusal to carry it out. “The way to destroy Hamas is not how they are doing it. They have fueled hatred for generations,” the head of diplomacy has warned: “Peace and stability cannot be built with military means alone, and not with the particular dogma in which they are using military means.”

The EU has approved a specific sanctions framework against Hamas to punish those who support the terrorist organization by providing material or financial means. The package, approved on Friday, already included the sanction of six people.

“The humanitarian situation could not be worse. There are no words to explain it,” warned the high representative, who recalled that there are hundreds of thousands of people without “shelters or food and under bombs.” The Foreign Ministers have agreed on the need for humanitarian aid to reach the Gaza Strip.

What they still lack consensus on is the request for a ceasefire. Countries like Germany are not in favor of working under the premise that Israel has the right to self-defense against Hamas. And those who defend it have put different qualifiers afterwards. For example, the Spaniard José Manuel Albares has spoken of a “permanent ceasefire.” Belgium has spoken of an “imminent ceasefire” and Finland has defined it as “humanitarian.” “We have to work on that and look for steps so that this ceasefire can lead to a longer one and the two parties negotiate,” Minister Elina Valtonen added. “The first thing we need is a ceasefire, I don’t care what the name is,” said Xavier Bettel, from Luxembourg.

The foreign ministers of the 27, who fear an escalation of the conflict at the regional level with the tension between Iran and Pakistan, will address the conflict in the Middle East with all the actors involved, including the Israeli Foreign Minister, Israel Katz, the Foreign Ministers of Saudi Arabia, Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud; Jordan, Ayman Safadi, and Egypt, as well as with the Secretary General of the League of Arab States, Ahmed Aboul Gheit. Also with the head of diplomacy of the Palestinian Authority, Riyad al-Maliki.

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