Macron suggests that the anti-Islamic State alliance engage Hamas. On Monday, the European Union came close to expressing support for a “humanitarian pause” in response to Israel’s aggression against Gaza. However, several member states indicated their skepticism regarding this notion.
The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, supported UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s appeal to end Israeli airstrikes on Gaza so that significantly more humanitarian aid could reach Palestinian civilians.
In addition, EU representatives formulated a statement endorsing the notion of convening an EU summit later this week, albeit with the caveat that the substance may be subject to revision in the coming days. Amid mounting apprehension regarding the whereabouts of Palestinian civilians after Israel’s two-week assault and obstruction of Gaza, these actions emerged.
“At this time, humanitarian aid entering Gaza is the most critical matter,” Borrell told reporters upon his arrival at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg. Luxembourg, France, Spain, the Netherlands, and Slovenia have also supported the concept.
“Water, food, and medical supplies must be delivered to Gaza immediately,” stated Irish Foreign Minister Michael Martin. An overwhelming amount of human suffering exists. However, several other ministers openly voiced dissent towards the proposal or evaded direct responses when queried about it.
The contrasting perspectives largely mirrored entrenched divisions within the European Union regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with pro-Palestinian factions advocating for a cessation of hostilities. At the same time, steadfast supporters of Israel were more hesitant.
Despite an impending ground offensive into Gaza, French President Emmanuel Macron sails to Israel on Tuesday with proposals and an effort to broker a humanitarian ceasefire.
According to his advisers, Macron desired to make “operationally viable proposals” to prevent an escalation, liberate prisoners, ensure Israel’s security, advance a two-state solution, and demonstrate solidarity with Israel.
The French leader strengthened his stance before the journey, telling reporters he would only undertake a “useful” visit to the region.
In a briefing to reporters, a Macron adviser declined to provide further details regarding the proposals, merely stating that actions could be taken to ensure that “Israel does not feel alone in its fight against terrorism.”
Macron is scheduled to meet with Benjamin Netanyahu, President Isaac Herzog, and opposition centrist leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid. According to French officials, a meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and a stopover in one or more Arab capitals in the region was “highly probable.”
“Attempts at civilians”
A joint statement released on Monday stated that during a meeting in Tehran, the foreign ministers of Russia, Iran, Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan “exchanged views on the situation in Gaza” and “emphasized the need for immediate cessation of targeting innocent civilians.”
Additionally, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte spoke with the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmud Abbas, according to a report by the Dutch press agency ANP on Monday.
Rutte also emphasized the significance of the possibility of a sovereign Palestinian state coexisting with Israel, stating that the two-state solution is “the sole means to establish stability throughout the entire region,” according to ANP.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated during a meeting in Tehran regarding the United States deployment of warships to the region, “The more a state takes proactive measures of this nature, the greater the risk and danger of a conflict escalation.”
He stated, “Russia categorically rejects all forms of terrorism and violence that contravene international humanitarian law, including the indiscriminate application of force.”
It was anticipated that the Middle East envoy of China would appear in the United Arab Emirates to mediate the “situation in the Middle East.”
Zhai Jun commenced his Middle East tour the previous week by traveling to Qatar, where he met on Thursday with the foreign minister of the Gulf state and his Russian counterpart.
According to a statement released on Monday by Mao Ning, a spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing, he will participate in a symposium on China-UAE relations. Her account of his travel plans within the nation was not further expounded. Mao stated that Zhai had “intentions to further his visits to the Middle East to enhance coordination with pertinent stakeholders regarding the promotion of a ceasefire, cessation of violence, and de-escalation of the situation.”