The European Parliament rules out calling for a ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Hamas but requests a “humanitarian pause”

The European Parliament condemns the “despicable” attack by Hamas against Israel and recognizes its right to self-defense in accordance with international law. It is one of the conclusions of the resolution approved by a large majority – PPE, socialists, liberals, greens and the extreme right – but it avoids talking about violations of international legality. During the vote, two oral amendments were presented to demand a “ceasefire” in the Middle East, defended by the left and which has been rejected, and another to demand a “humanitarian pause”, which has passed with 433 votes to in favor, 41 against and 28 abstentions.

The resolution negotiated and endorsed by the majority of groups condemns the Hamas attacks, “reiterates the need to eliminate the terrorist organization” and demands “the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages,” a situation that reminds us that it is a “ war crime”. “Calls for those responsible for terrorist acts and violations of international law to be held accountable,” adds the text, which has passed with 500 votes in favor, 21 against and 24 abstentions.

Green MEPs Ernest Urtasun (Sumar) and Ana Miranda (BNG) have distanced themselves from the group and voted against, as did the left group (IU, Podemos and Anticapitalistas) due to the lack of ambition in the condemnation. to Israel’s response. ERC parliamentarian Diana de la Riba has abstained. All of them have voted, however, in favor of the amendment that calls for a humanitarian pause, along with the majority of groups with the exception of a handful of deputies from the extreme right and isolated cases from the rest of the groups.

What does the resolution say?

“Recognizes Israel’s right to self-defense enshrined and limited by international law, and emphasizes that Israel’s actions must therefore strictly respect international humanitarian law; “underlines that the attacks by the terrorist group Hamas and the Israeli response threaten to provoke a cycle of increasing violence in the region,” says the text, which does not, however, mention Israel’s attacks on civilian infrastructure.

The high representative, Josep Borrell, has pointed to the violation of international legality by Israel with the siege of Gaza. Some spokespersons also did so in the debate in the European Parliament this Wednesday, such as the socialist Iratxe García or Ernest Urtasun (Green MEP and spokesperson for Sumar), who voted against the negotiated resolution. “Israel has every right to respond to Hamas, but it is obliged to respect international law and the murder of civilians, the siege and the intolerable ultimatum constitute a violation of humanitarian law,” said the socialist. “The punishments that Israel is inflicting on the Gaza Strip are war crimes,” Urtasun said.

In a generic way, the text expresses “concern about the rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, where children represent approximately half of the population.” Thus, it demands that “channels be opened and permanently kept open to provide humanitarian aid to civilians in the Gaza Strip; urges the international community to maintain and increase its humanitarian aid to the civilian population in the area; reiterates that the Union must continue to provide humanitarian aid; “urges Egypt and Israel to cooperate with the international community to establish humanitarian corridors to the Gaza Strip.”


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