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EU urges Israel, Hamas to accept Biden’s cease-fire proposal for Gaza

ENGLISH 05.06.2024 - 10:29, Güncelleme: 05.06.2024 - 10:29
 

EU urges Israel, Hamas to accept Biden’s cease-fire proposal for Gaza

Peace and stability in the Middle East are in the interest of the whole world, bloc says
The European Union urged Israel and Hamas on Tuesday to accept a cease-fire proposal announced by US President Joe Biden for Gaza. “The European Union gives its full support to the comprehensive roadmap presented by President Biden, that would lead to an enduring cease-fire in Gaza, the release of all hostages and a surge of humanitarian assistance to Gaza,” the bloc said in a statement. Highlighting the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza, it added: “Too many civilian lives have been lost. An enduring cease-fire is urgently needed to ensure the protection of civilians, the unconditional and immediate release of all hostages whose safety and well-being is of concern, and to increase the flow of much-needed humanitarian relief to Gaza in view of the deepening humanitarian crisis.” “Peace and stability in the Middle East are in the interest of both peoples, of the region as a whole, as well as globally,” it emphasized. Against this background, it said the EU stands ready to contribute to reviving a political process for a lasting and sustainable peace based on the two-state solution and to support a coordinated international effort to rebuild Gaza. The proposal, as laid out by Biden last Friday, envisions a three-phase agreement that would culminate with a multi-year process to rebuild the badly damaged coastal enclave and the return of all hostages, living and dead, held in Gaza. The first phase would start with a six-week cease-fire, during which a first round of hostages held in Gaza would be released, including women, the elderly and the injured, in exchange for the release of what Biden said would be "hundreds" of Palestinian prisoners. Israeli forces would also withdraw from what a senior Biden administration official called "densely populated areas." The remains of some hostages who have died would also be returned, and Palestinian civilians would be allowed to return to their homes and neighborhoods throughout Gaza, including the north, where Israel has implemented sweeping restrictions. Humanitarian aid deliveries would also scale up dramatically to reach 600 trucks per day, according to Biden. Negotiators would seek to address outstanding issues during the six-week first phase, including the ratio of Palestinian prisoners that would be freed in exchange for the release of Israeli hostages. The proposal includes language allowing the cease-fire to be extended before the second phase begins, as long as talks continue. The prisoner swap ratio is a critical issue because in the second phase, all living hostages would be freed, including all male Israeli military personnel. Israel's forces would also fully withdraw from Gaza. The final phase includes the commencement of Gaza's reconstruction, which is expected to take up to five years, and the return of any additional remains of hostages held in Gaza. Israel has continued its brutal offensive on Gaza since a cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas on Oct. 7 last year, despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire. More than 36,500 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, the vast majority being women and children, and nearly 83,000 others injured, according to local health authorities. Nearly eight months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water, and medicine. Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which in its latest ruling has ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its operation in the southern city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.
Peace and stability in the Middle East are in the interest of the whole world, bloc says

The European Union urged Israel and Hamas on Tuesday to accept a cease-fire proposal announced by US President Joe Biden for Gaza.

“The European Union gives its full support to the comprehensive roadmap presented by President Biden, that would lead to an enduring cease-fire in Gaza, the release of all hostages and a surge of humanitarian assistance to Gaza,” the bloc said in a statement.

Highlighting the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza, it added: “Too many civilian lives have been lost. An enduring cease-fire is urgently needed to ensure the protection of civilians, the unconditional and immediate release of all hostages whose safety and well-being is of concern, and to increase the flow of much-needed humanitarian relief to Gaza in view of the deepening humanitarian crisis.”

“Peace and stability in the Middle East are in the interest of both peoples, of the region as a whole, as well as globally,” it emphasized.

Against this background, it said the EU stands ready to contribute to reviving a political process for a lasting and sustainable peace based on the two-state solution and to support a coordinated international effort to rebuild Gaza.

The proposal, as laid out by Biden last Friday, envisions a three-phase agreement that would culminate with a multi-year process to rebuild the badly damaged coastal enclave and the return of all hostages, living and dead, held in Gaza.

The first phase would start with a six-week cease-fire, during which a first round of hostages held in Gaza would be released, including women, the elderly and the injured, in exchange for the release of what Biden said would be "hundreds" of Palestinian prisoners. Israeli forces would also withdraw from what a senior Biden administration official called "densely populated areas."

The remains of some hostages who have died would also be returned, and Palestinian civilians would be allowed to return to their homes and neighborhoods throughout Gaza, including the north, where Israel has implemented sweeping restrictions. Humanitarian aid deliveries would also scale up dramatically to reach 600 trucks per day, according to Biden.

Negotiators would seek to address outstanding issues during the six-week first phase, including the ratio of Palestinian prisoners that would be freed in exchange for the release of Israeli hostages. The proposal includes language allowing the cease-fire to be extended before the second phase begins, as long as talks continue.

The prisoner swap ratio is a critical issue because in the second phase, all living hostages would be freed, including all male Israeli military personnel. Israel's forces would also fully withdraw from Gaza.

The final phase includes the commencement of Gaza's reconstruction, which is expected to take up to five years, and the return of any additional remains of hostages held in Gaza.

Israel has continued its brutal offensive on Gaza since a cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas on Oct. 7 last year, despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire.

More than 36,500 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, the vast majority being women and children, and nearly 83,000 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Nearly eight months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water, and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which in its latest ruling has ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its operation in the southern city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.

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