Hannes Swoboda on Gaza-Israel conflict: „Stop firing at civilian targets“

Commenting on the latest developments in the Gaza strip, S&D Group President Hannes Swoboda said: „Recent fighting in the Middle East has caused many civilian casualties and deaths. Europe must give its full support to Egypt in their efforts to arrange a sustainable ceasefire. Hamas will lose all credibility in terms of protecting the citizens of Gaza if they continue firing rockets on Israeli civilians. Instead they should be trying to improve living conditions for the people of Gaza.“


He continued by calling on both sides to end the conflict:


„The new government in Egypt led by the Muslim brotherhood has the opportunity to set a new course and represent the interests of the population of Gaza. Israel’s military presence and activities around Gaza will not cease if the violence against Israeli civilians continues. It simply hardens Israel’s position and creates more victims in Gaza.


„Any further escalation in this long-lasting conflict will cause more death and hatred. The history of this conflict shows that if weapons speak instead of citizens, no progress will be made towards peace.


„We appeal to both sides to show restraint and stop the circle of violence, but we appeal particularly to Hamas to stop the useless and counterproductive violence and accept Egypt’s offer to help the Gaza population with constructive measures.“


He concluded by calling for a sustainable ceasefire:


„Only a sustainable ceasefire will give Egypt and Europe the chance to ask Israel to fulfil their obligations under international law and improve the situation of the population in Gaza. If this is Hamas’s aim they should stop the violence.“