Middle East crisis live: European parliament calls for ‘permanent ceasefire’ - on condition hostages are freed and Hamas dismantled

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The European parliament has voted to call for a “permanent ceasefire” in the Gaza Strip

The European parliament has voted to call for a “permanent ceasefire” in the Gaza Strip, but on condition that all Israeli hostages held in the territory are released and Hamas dismantled.

 


The parliament stopped short of calling for an unconditional ceasefire in Gaza, instead calling “for a permanent ceasefire and to restart efforts towards a political solution provided that all hostages are immediately and unconditionally released and the terrorist organisation Hamas is dismantled”.

 

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

 

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

 

The socialists, centrists and greens had sought a resolution calling for a permanent ceasefire and the restart of efforts towards a political solution.

 

However, the centre-right European People’s party – the largest group in the parliament – opposed an initial demand for an unconditional ceasefire, and pushed through an amendment to adjust the text.

 

In videos from 7 October, the body of a young woman is lying face down in the back of a pickup truck, stripped to her underwear, one leg bent at an unnatural angle. One of the men sitting next to her pulls her long hair as armed men around him shout praises to God.

 

Footage of the body of Shani Louk, the young Israeli-German national described by her mother as a “very happy, lively person [who] liked music and dancing and living”, being paraded around the streets of Gaza was some of the first to surface on 7 October as the scale of the horror visited on sleeping families in kibbutzim neighbouring the strip and people partying at a nearby rave started to become clear.

 

In the more than three months since the unprecedented attack by the Palestinian group Hamas, the atrocities the militants committed have been well documented. Israel is still grappling with the trauma: entire families burned alive, torture and mutilation, children and elderly people ripped from the arms of their loved ones, seized as hostages.

 

Israel’s top police investigations unit, Lahav 433, is still poring over 50,000 pieces of visual evidence and 1,500 witness testimonies, and says it is unable to put a number on how many women and girls suffered gender-based violence.

 

The parliament stopped short of calling for an unconditional ceasefire in Gaza, instead calling “for a permanent ceasefire and to restart efforts towards a political solution provided that all hostages are immediately and unconditionally released and the terrorist organisation Hamas is dismantled”.

 

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

 

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

 

The socialists, centrists and greens had sought a resolution calling for a permanent ceasefire and the restart of efforts towards a political solution.

 

However, the centre-right European People’s party – the largest group in the parliament – opposed an initial demand for an unconditional ceasefire, and pushed through an amendment to adjust the text.

 

Israel’s bombardment and ground invasion of Gaza have pushed nearly all Palestinians towards the southern city of Rafah along the Egyptian border.

 

The area now has more than 1.2 million people, UNRWA said, compared with a prewar population of about 280,000.

 

The International Committee of the Red Cross has said in a statement that it is not playing any part in delivering medicine to Israeli hostages being held in Gaza as part of a deal brokered by Qatar and France.

 

This appears to contradict an earlier claim by Hamas that the ICRC would be involved. Israeli media had reported that senior Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzouk had said the ICRC would deliver the medicine to hospitals and the hostages.

 

In its statement the ICRC writes:

 

The ICRC has been engaging with the parties to agree to a mechanism to deliver medicines to the hostages. The ICRC initiated the conversation in its role as a neutral intermediary.

 

The parties negotiated the agreement, including how much medicines would be delivered and by whom, with Qatar brokering the deal.

 

The mechanism that was agreed to does not involve the ICRC playing any part in its implementation, including the delivery of medication.

 

The ICRC welcomes the agreement to deliver medications to the hostages and to medical facilities for the residents of Gaza as a positive humanitarian step.

 

The deal caused political controversy in Israel yesterday when it emerged that the shipment of medicine was not to be inspected by Israel on entry into the Gaza Strip, contrary to the current Israeli policy that all humanitarian aid entering Gaza must be viewed by Israel before it can be delivered.

 

In Turkey, the soccer club Başakşehir has fined the Israeli player Eden Kartsev for a social media post in support of Israeli hostages in Gaza.

 

Reuters reports that a spokesperson said the club had decided to send the player on loan to a club in Israel.

 

Kartsev had shared on Instagram the slogan “Bring them home now”. The club said his post had “violated the sensitive values of our country”.

 

On Monday, the Israeli player Sagiv Jehezkel was released from Turkish police custody before returning to his home country.

 

Jehezkel had been detained in Antalya after wearing a bandage on his left wrist during a match with the slogan “100 days”, referring to the time since the 7 October Hamas attack inside southern Israel and the length of time Israeli hostages had been held in captivity.

 

Reuters reports the ministry, which is run by Hamas, said 172 Palestinians were killed and 326 have been injured in the past 24 hours. The ministry does not distinguish between combatants and non-combatants, and has said that the majority of those killed are women and children.

 

In addition, at least 350 Palestinians including 95 children have been killed in the Israeli-occupied West Bank since 7 October by either Israeli security forces or Israeli settlers, and an estimated 4,000 have been wounded. Israel is also estimated to have detained 6,000 Palestinians from the occupied West Bank during that period.

 

Israel’s campaign came after the surprise attack inside southern Israel by Hamas on 7 October. During the attack an estimated 1,200 people were killed, and over 8,500 wounded. About 240 were seized as hostages and abducted into Gaza. Of those, about 132 are believed still to be held, although not all of those in captivity are thought to still be alive.

 

It has not been possible for journalists to independently verify the casualty counts issued during the conflict.

 

An estimated 85% of Gaza’s population has been displaced from their homes by the continual Israeli bombardment of the territory.


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CRN News - Breaking News: Middle East crisis live: European parliament calls for ‘permanent ceasefire’ - on condition hostages are freed and Hamas dismantled
Middle East crisis live: European parliament calls for ‘permanent ceasefire’ - on condition hostages are freed and Hamas dismantled
The European parliament has voted to call for a “permanent ceasefire” in the Gaza Strip
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