Statement of the EESC President on the situation in the Middle East

The EESC has condemned in the strongest possible terms Hamas’ brutal and indiscriminate terrorist attacks across Israel. The EESC conveys its condolences and reiterates its sympathy with the families and its full solidarity with Israeli civil society. The EESC strongly emphasizes Israel’s right to defend itself in line with international law including international humanitarian law.

The EESC condemns all acts directed against Israeli and Palestinian civilians and civilian infrastructures and calls for their protection, especially of children and vulnerable population. We urge the parties to exercise restraint and remind them of their obligations under the universal principles of International Law.

Our thoughts are with all the innocent victims - Israelis, Palestinians, citizens from many other countries.

The EESC calls on Hamas to immediately release all hostages without any precondition. Their welfare must be safeguarded through the intervention of international organisations such as the International Red Cross and Red Crescent.

The EESC strongly believes that the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza requires immediate action to prevent an even bigger human crisis. The provision of urgent humanitarian assistance through the most efficient means, for example through the establishment of humanitarian corridors and pauses, is vital. The Palestinian civilian population is in desperate need of food, water, fuel, electricity, and medical care, as well as safe shelter. Access to these basic facilities must be urgently restored.

Human rights and international humanitarian law must be respected in accordance with UN resolutions. The EESC stresses that in these challenging times, diplomatic dialogue and cooperation are essential tools for restoring peace and stability in the region.

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