The president of Spain, Pedro Sánchez; and the prime ministers of Belgium, Alexander de Croo; Ireland, Leo Varadkar; and Malta, Robert Abela, have asked by letter to the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, to demand an “urgent” ceasefire in Gaza, as well as the protection of civilians residing there in the face of the “seriousness of the situation” and the “possibility of the conflict escalating in the West Bank and throughout the region.”

The letter comes after the UN Secretary General activated Article 99 of the United Nations Charter for the first time to request this humanitarian ceasefire. The four countries point out that since the conflict began, “the number of fatalities and the terrible humanitarian situation have reached alarming levels.” However, the resolution presented to the UN Council was finally vetoed this Friday by the United States.

The four leaders consider that, although the humanitarian pauses and hostage exchanges between Israel and Palestine are positive, the parties should be asked “urgently to declare a lasting humanitarian ceasefire that could lead to the end of hostilities.” in addition to measures to protect the population of Gaza. “Preventing the arrival of aid to civilians may contravene international law,” they recall in their writing.

The third of their requests to Michel is the two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, as they warn that “there cannot be a return to the status quo prior to October 7”: “It is necessary to provide adequate financial and political support to the Palestinian Authority to take control of Gaza,” they add.

In their text, the European leaders once again insist on their condemnation of the terrorist attacks committed by Hamas on October 7 and on the need for the release of the hostages, as well as Israel’s right to defend itself, in accordance with International Law. and Humanitarian Law.

It is not the first time that Pedro Sánchez criticizes the high number of fatalities in Gaza, something that has created a diplomatic crisis between Israel and Spain. A few days ago, the President of the Government stated that he had “frank doubts” that the Israeli Army was “complying with international humanitarian law”, which caused the Israeli Foreign Minister, Eli Cohen, to call the ambassador of Israel for consultations. Israel in Spain. Although the crisis began last month, during the Spanish president’s trip to Israel, in which he told Netanyahu that “the number of dead Palestinians is unbearable.”

Now, Sánchez’s criticisms join those of de Croo, Varadkar and Abela, and the four affirm that these are “dark hours for millions of people” in the two countries protagonists of the conflict. “Anti-Semitic incidents have resurfaced throughout Europe and we cannot tolerate it,” they denounce, while concluding that this “is the time for the European Union to act”: “Our credibility is at stake.”


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