Go from words to actions. This is what more and more international leaders, like Josep Borrell, are putting on the table in the face of the massacre in Gaza. And Pedro Sánchez and his Irish counterpart, Leo Varadkar, have spoken along those lines, asking the European Commission to carry out a review of the trade agreements with Israel in the face of the massacre of the Palestinian civilian population. In a letter sent to the president, Ursula Von der Leyen, they recall that the EU-Israel Association Agreement is based on compliance with human rights and democratic principles by both parties.

The leaders of Spain (socialist) and Ireland (from the PP family) express their concern about Israel’s failure to comply with international law in its offensive on Gaza, which is why they ask the European Commission to analyze whether Benjamin’s Government Netanyahu is fulfilling his “obligations.” “If he considers that he has committed an infraction, he should propose appropriate measures to the Council for it to examine,” the letter states. For months now, some European leaders, such as the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, or Borrell, have already pointed out that the siege of the Gaza Strip was a violation of international law, but nothing has been done about it. For the moment, the European Commission is limited to acknowledging receipt of the letter.

Sánchez and Varadkar’s intention is for Brussels to prepare a report on Israel’s compliance with the Association Agreement and to put it on the table of the 27, who would be the ones who would have the final say. So far, the EU’s reaction has been minimal in the face of the different sensitivities of member states regarding Israel. There has not even been a consensus on the request for a ceasefire, which countries like Germany consider would go against their right to self-defense. Spain and Ireland have been, along with Belgium, the governments that have raised the most voices against Netanyahu, who went so far as to accuse Sánchez and the Belgian Prime Minister, Alexander de Croo, of “supporting terrorism” after his trip to the Middle East and open a diplomatic crisis.

“We are deeply concerned about the deterioration of the situation in Israel and Gaza, especially about the impact that the current conflict is having on innocent Palestinians, especially children and women,” Sánchez and Varadkar point out in the letter sent to Von der Leyen in which remember that 28,000 Palestinians have been killed, 67,000 injured and 85% of the population of Gaza has been forced to move.

A concern that increases with the attack on Rafah. “The expansion of the Israeli military operation in the Rafah area represents a serious and imminent threat that the international community must urgently confront,” add the two leaders, who once again condemn the Hamas attacks of October 7, to demand the release of the hostages and to appeal to Iarael’s right to self-defense.

“The response must comply with the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution. It is important to highlight that International and Humanitarian Law imposes a clear obligation on all parties, in all conflicts, to guarantee the protection of civilians,” the text reads: “The horrendous terrorist attacks committed by Hamas and other armed armed groups do not “They do not and cannot justify any violation of International and Humanitarian Law in the military response, with the consequent consequences for the civilian population of the region.”

In addition to warning that the humanitarian situation is increasingly deteriorating without any place being “safe” in Gaza, Sánchez and Varadkar assure that they “take note” of the resolution of the International Court of Justice which indicates that Some of the facts denounced by South Africa in these proceedings fall “within the scope of application of the provisions of the Genocide Convention.” That is why they reiterate the need for a humanitarian ceasefire (a position that 17 EU states endorsed before the UN). In addition, they applaud the ongoing investigations into the alleged collaboration of 13 UNRWA workers in the October attacks, but emphasize the need to continue channeling aid to that organization.

They also insist on the need to give a “political perspective” to the end of the conflict through a two-state solution. “The EU has the responsibility to act to make this a reality, in coordination with the parties and the international community, including through an international peace conference,” the letter concludes.

Source: www.eldiario.es

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