EU pushes Israel on two-state solution after war in Gaza

EU foreign ministers on Monday pressed Israel for an eventual two-state solution with the Palestinians after the war in Gaza, at meetings with the top diplomats from the two sides and key Arab states in Brussels.

The surprise Hamas attack on Oct. 7 on Israel and the subsequent devastating military response from Israel has plunged the Middle East into fresh turmoil and sparked fears of a broader conflict.

But while the bloodshed appears to have driven a long-term solution further out of sight, EU officials insist the time is now to talk about finally resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The 27 EU ministers met first with Israel's foreign minister Israel Katz before they were due to sit down separately with the Palestinian Authority's top diplomat, Riyad al-Maliki.

The foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia were also holding talks with the European ministers.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has drawn condemnation from the United Nations and defied key backer the United States by rejecting calls for a Palestinian state.

Israel's assault on Gaza has left over 25,000 Palestinians dead, the vast majority women and children, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

 

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told Israel that "peace and stability cannot be built only by military means".

"Which are the other solutions they have in mind? To make all the Palestinians leave? To kill off them?" Borrell said.

 'Only solution'

Katz ignored questions from journalists over a future two-state solution and said Israel was focused now on returning the hostages and ensuring its own security.

The EU has struggled for a united stance on the conflict in Gaza...

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