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European Parliament calls for permanent cease-fire in Gaza

29 February 2024

The European Parliament made its first-ever call for an “immediate and permanent cease-fire” in Gaza as Israel continued its attacks on the enclave, reports Anadolu Agency.

In the European Parliament General Assembly, the 2023 report on “Human rights and democracy in the world and the European Union’s policy on the matter” was approved on Wednesday with 265 votes in favor, 253 against and 10 abstentions.

Upon a request from members of the Left group in the parliament, the report’s 62nd article was amended to include the call for an “immediate and permanent cease-fire in Gaza.”

The newly revised report, approved after the motion for a resolution, includes a statement urging the European Union, its member states, and the international community to call for an immediate and permanent cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, particularly to ensure uninterrupted access to food and water for everyone.

This marks the first time the parliament has called for a cease-fire in Gaza. In a resolution adopted on Jan. 18, a “permanent cease-fire” was linked to conditions such as the release of all prisoners and the dismantling of the Palestinian group Hamas.

During a session in the General Assembly on Tuesday discussing the report, many members criticized the omission of Gaza, accusing the EU of letting Israel go unpunished for alleged crimes despite ongoing attacks.

Several members expressed criticism over the exclusion of Gaza from the initial draft, accusing the EU of failing to hold Israel accountable for its alleged violations of international law.

Israel has launched a deadly offensive on the Gaza Strip following a cross-border incursion by the Palestinian group Hamas on Oct. 7. The ensuing Israeli bombardment has killed 29,954 people and injured over 70,000 with mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

ALSO READ: EU top diplomat accuses EU Commission chief of siding with Israel, obstructing efforts to recognise Palestine state

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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