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EU’s unanimous ceasefire call: A shift in approach to Gaza conflict?

By : Nedal Zubeidi

Jordan Daily – The European Union has historically been a mosaic of opinions and stances, particularly when it comes to foreign policy. This diversity of views has often led to a lack of consensus on critical issues. However, the recent unanimous call by EU leaders in their summit in Brussels on Thursday, for “an immediate humanitarian pause leading to a sustainable ceasefire” in Gaza , marks a significant shift in the bloc’s approach to the Israel-Hamas conflict.

For months, the EU’s inability to present a united front on the Gaza situation has been a point of contention, underscoring the challenges of collective decision-making among its 27 member states. The deep divisions that previously hindered a cohesive stance on Gaza have seemingly been bridged, as evidenced by Hungary’s alignment with the rest of the EU for the first time since the outbreak of hostilities.

I think , this “newfound” unity is not just a diplomatic breakthrough; it is an evidence of the EU’s evolving perspective, which now places a greater emphasis on the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza. The “catastrophic humanitarian situation” and the “famine caused by the insufficient entry of aid into Gaza” have taken center stage in the EU’s rhetoric, signaling a shift from political maneuvering to a focus on the plight of civilians.

It is clear that the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s comments following the summit reflect this change. Once criticized for a pro-Israeli stance, von der Leyen’s plea for Israel to allow a surge in humanitarian aid illustrates a more balanced approach, acknowledging both Israel’s right to self-defense and its moral obligation to protect civilian life.

The EU’s statement after the Summit , also serves as a stark warning to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, urging restraint on the planned invasion of Rafah and compliance with the International Court of Justice’s order to prevent genocide in Gaza. This represents a considerable shift not only within the EU but also in the position of the United States, which has thrice vetoed UN resolutions on a ceasefire.

Moreover, the EU’s support for the Amalthea maritime corridor linking Cyprus with Gaza, despite recognizing that it cannot replace land access, underscores the urgency of the humanitarian needs in Gaza. The EU’s call for “additional land crossings” to deliver life-saving aid further highlights the bloc’s commitment to alleviating the humanitarian crisis.

In the context of the EU’s collective stance, countries such as Spain, Ireland, and Belgium have articulated their individual perspectives on the situation in Gaza. Spain has strongly denounced the non-discriminatory fatalities of Palestinians and has advocated for a sustainable humanitarian truce. Ireland , known for its pro-Palestinian stance, has called for an end to the Israeli offensive in Gaza, highlighting the dire consequences for the region’s children. Belgium, navigating through the EU’s internal challenges, has underscored the necessity for a ceasefire and the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid into Gaza, alongside advocating for targeted sanctions and holding those accountable who breach international humanitarian law.

In conclusion, the EU’s unanimous call for a ceasefire and its strong humanitarian stance represent a significant evolution in its approach to the Gaza conflict. This shift reflects a growing recognition of the dire humanitarian situation and a commitment to prioritizing the welfare of civilians over political considerations.

It is a welcome development that promises to bring much-needed relief to the people of Gaza and sets a precedent for the EU’s future engagements in international crises.


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