Feb 20, 2024

Czechia Backs “Humanitarian Pause” in Gaza, Only Hungary Against

EU countries, except Hungary, on Monday called for an “immediate humanitarian pause that would lead to a sustainable ceasefire” in the Gaza war, the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.

The European Union has struggled for a united response on Israel’s military operation following the October 7 attack by Hamas.

“The joint statement addresses the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the potential repercussions of the planned military operation in Rafah. On behalf of the Czech Republic, I believe it is critical to underscore international humanitarian law and acknowledge the State of Israel’s right to self-defense,” stated Czech Minister Jan Lipavský, adding that this represents “a comprehensive perspective encompassing the diverse positions within Europe.”

On Monday, the ministers also deliberated on further sanctions against the Hamas terrorist organization and radical Jewish settlers.

Lipavský reiterated the Czech stance, emphasizing that Prague has no objections to the sanctions package itself; however, they oppose linking the two groups, rejecting “any attempt to draw an equivalence between Hamas terrorists and extremist political activists.”

“I believe everyone clearly understood this position,” the Czech minister added, “but then another member state intervened and blocked the entire sanctions package, effectively ending the discussion for today.”

He confirmed that the country in question was Hungary.

Israel continues operations in Rafah

Israel is preparing to mount a ground invasion of Gaza’s southernmost city, which it has called a last bastion of Hamas control after nearly five months of fighting.

Israel accuses Hamas terrorists of hiding among civilians, something the group denies, and says “extraordinary measures” were being taken to avoid civilian casualties.

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