EU lawmakers call for 'permanent ceasefire' in Gaza - with conditions

AFP , Thursday 18 Jan 2024

The European Parliament on Thursday called for a "permanent ceasefire" in Gaza -- but on condition that all Israeli captives are released immediately and Hamas dismantled.

EU Parliament
Place publique member and MEP Raphael Glucksmann takes part in a plenary session at the European Parliament on January 16, 2024 in Strasbourg, eastern France. AFP


The parliament called in a resolution "for a permanent ceasefire and to restart efforts towards a political solution provided that all captives are immediately and unconditionally released and the terrorist organisation Hamas is dismantled".

The non-binding resolution was backed by 312 lawmakers, with 131 voting against and 72 abstaining.

The 27-nation EU has struggled to come up with a unified position on the conflict, with some countries such as Germany staunchly backing Israel and others being more pro-Palestinian.

Those splits played out at the European Parliament. The centre-right European People's Party opposed an inital demand for an unconditional ceasefire, arguing that restricted Israel's right to defend itself.

"Calling for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza as proposed in the resolution undermines Israel's right to self-defence and further endangers the life of the hostages," the group said.

Fighting has ravaged Gaza since October 7. Israel is conducting relentless bombardment and a ground offensive which have killed at least 24,448 civilian Palestinians, around 70 percent of them women, children and adolescents, according to Gaza health ministry figures.


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