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  HOME PAGE 26/05/2024 08:43 
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Italy Working Discretely To Achieve Temporary Cease-Fire In Gaza: Foreign Minister

23.02.2024 00:42

Italy is in talks with Arab countries on reaching temporary truce, says Antonio Tajani.

Italy is deeply involved in discreet talks with Arab countries to achieve a temporary cease-fire in Gaza, Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said Thursday.

"We are working intensely and discreetly with Arab countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar to achieve a temporary interruption of fighting to allow the liberation of hostages and humanitarian aid," Tajani said during an online forum with the Italian news agency ANSA.

He said Italy is also working together with the European Union and the G7 group of countries, of which Italy holds the presidency this year, to reach such a goal.

"It's not always easy. We are telling Israel that there are rules which must be respected for the protection of the civilian population," he said

More than 29,410 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, with United Nations agencies warning that a planned ground offensive in the southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt would have even more disastrous consequences for civilians.

Some 1.5 million Palestinians displaced by Israel's offensive on Gaza are holed up in Rafah, seeking refuge from hostilities that have laid waste to vast swathes of the enclave.

Talks to achieve a cease-fire have not produced any results so far.

Tajani also warned of rising violence in the occupied West Bank between Israeli settlers and Palestinians and urged Israel to act to stop it.

"All Western countries are telling Israel to be careful about extremist settlers in the West Bank, who are behaving with unbearable violence," he added.

Tajani also said that Israel suffered an attack by the Palestinian group Hamas on Oct. 7 last year which reminded him of the German "Gestapo and SS's hunt for the Jews, with levels of violence that probably haven't been reached by the SS."

"All this must provoke a just reaction against Hamas's terrorists but keeping in mind that the Palestinian people aren't Hamas and that Hamas aren't the Palestinian people. A reaction which allows for the civilian population to be somehow protected."

He also said that Hamas uses the civilian population as "human shields."

"However, Israel has to keep in mind the humanitarian aspect, with a proportional response," he added.

Speaking about Russia and the recent death of jailed opposition figure Alexei Navalny, Tajani said "one can die at the hands of a killer or by death that has been caused. Whether it is caused directly or not, it is still homicide. The Kremlin bears a huge responsibility."

Tajani said he recently met Navalny's wife in Brussels.

"I perceived her will to go on. She is a strong woman," he added. -

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