Monday, March 4, 2024

The EU will impose new sanctions on Hamas and also on Israeli settlers in the West Bank

The European Union will impose further sanctions on Hamas – which is already on the community’s blacklist of terrorist organizations – and also act against extremist Israeli settlers which carried out attacks against the Palestinian inhabitants of the West Bank, as the United States had already done. It is about punishing “enemies of peace, those who with their actions hinder or prevent the materialization of the two-state solution”, explained the Foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Albares.

This is the minimum agreement reached this Monday by the Foreign Ministers of the Twenty-Seven regarding the war between Israel and Hamas, which continues to provoke. strong internal divisions in Brussels. Spain, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Slovenia and Portugal have requested a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, a call that failed to garner unanimous support from allies.

The request for a humanitarian truce in Gaza will be debated this Tuesday at the United Nations General Assembly after the United States used its right to veto the Security Council. Borrell admits that “cannot guarantee” that all Member States will vote the same: Europeans were already divided into three different parts in the last vote at the end of October.

(The EU’s “unity” in the Israel-Hamas war exploded into a thousand pieces in just 24 hours)

EU countries have not even been able to agree to express their support for Antonio Guterres in the face of criticism from Israel, which demanded his resignation. “Germany says it needs more time to think about it. It seems strange to me that the EU has difficulties supporting the Secretary General of the United Nations, but we are acting with unity,” complained the Portuguese Foreign Minister, João Gomes Cravinho.

The proposal to impose more sanctions on Hamas came from Italy, France and Germany to show European solidarity with Israel. The ministers debated whether these strict measures should be extended to the 40,000 public officials working under the Hamas Government in Gaza and the conclusion was negative: only affect the military capacity of Hamas.

Regarding sanctions against Israeli citizens, Borrell explained that in the coming days he will present a list of “people known for their violent activities and attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank“. The ultimate goal is to ban their entry into the territory of the EU, although the High Representative admits that there is no unity among the Twenty-Seven on this issue.

Borrell also proposed to ministers a series of principles that should guide European action in the Middle East. In his opinion, The EU must oppose the forced displacement of civilians in Gaza and the occupation of the naked in Israel. It should also strengthen its border crossing missions in Rafah and Ramallah, as well as take the political initiative to promote a two-state solution.

The High Representative described the situation of civilians in Gaza as “apocalyptic” and lamented the “unbelievable number of civilian victims” of Israeli attacks, accounting for between 60% and 70% of the total mortality, according to his calculations. 85% of the population of Gaza (1.9 million people) were displaced within the strip, which suffered “greater destruction than the cities of Germany in the Second World War.”

World Nation News Desk
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