Lawmakers in the European Parliament adopted a resolution Thursday calling for a permanent ceasefire in Israel’s war against Hamas, on the condition that the Palestinian armed group in Gaza disbands and all hostages held by it will be released.
The conflict divides the countries of the European Union and political groups in the legislature, and reaching consensus on the words of the resolution is not an easy task.
The resolution, non-binding and highly symbolic, was approved with 312 votes in favor, 131 against, and 72 abstentions. It is the first time the European Parliament has called for a ceasefire after calling for a “humanitarian pause” in October.
The amendment calls for all hostages to be “immediately and unconditionally released and (for) the terrorist organization Hamas to be dismantled.”
Palestinian militants continue to fight back across Gaza in the face of one of the deadliest military campaigns in recent history. More than 24,400 Palestinians died, and 85% of the 2.3 million inhabitants of the narrow coastal territory fled their homes. The UN says a quarter of the population is dying of starvation.
Israel has vowed to dismantle Hamas to ensure it cannot repeat an attack like the one on October 7 that sparked the current war. The militants breached Israel’s border defenses and attacked several communities that day, killing about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and capturing about 250, taking them to Gaza as hostages.
Since the attack, the EU has struggled to strike a balance between condemning Hamas, supporting Israel’s right to defend itself, and ensuring that the rights of civilians on both sides are protected.
Hamas is on the EU’s list of terrorist groups.
European lawmakers also expressed their “deep concern about the dire and rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip” and called for the revival of the imminent “two-state solution” between Israel and the Palestinians and for finishing work. in the Palestinian territories.