Didier Reynders calls for a ceasefire between Gaza and Israel
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders is monitoring developments in the Middle East very closely. He deeply regrets the civilian casualties that have occurred over the past few days as a result of the rocket attacks on Israel and the subsequent response by the Israeli government. The minister recognises the right of Israel to protect its population against acts of terrorism. Nevertheless, he would like to see operations that are proportionate and which are carried out with the utmost caution in order to spare civilian lives.
In line with the international community, Didier Reynders is calling for an end to hostilities. There have already been too many innocent victims. The cycle of violence must come to an end. This violence jeopardises a peaceful future and the creation of a Palestinian state which can exist alongside Israel in peace and safety. The minister supports the initiatives to end the violence. He has called upon the parties to accept the Egyptian offer of a ceasefire immediately and unconditionally.
Didier Reynders reiterates that negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis should be resumed as quickly as possible. A two-state solution can then be sought within a peace accord. The European Union must play a role with the United States and other regional and international partners. The minister will discuss this matter with his European colleagues in the Foreign Affairs Council on 22 July.