Monday, October 30, 2023

Egypt, Italy Back Initiatives to De-escalate Hamas-Israel Violence


Italy and Egypt Support De-escalation Efforts in Hamas-Israel Conflict

Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani has expressed support for all initiatives aimed at de-escalating the conflict between Hamas and Israel. In a recent statement, Tajani revealed that he had spoken with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry, and both countries are prepared to promote humanitarian corridors for the release of prisoners held in Gaza, particularly vulnerable groups such as women, children, and the elderly.

Tajani strongly condemned the attack by Hamas on southern Israel, as well as the killing of two Israeli tourists and their Egyptian guide in Alexandria. He revealed that hundreds of gunmen had entered Israel, resulting in numerous casualties and abductions. In response, Israeli air strikes targeted housing blocks, tunnels, a mosque, and the homes of Hamas officials in Gaza. The airstrikes claimed the lives of more than 370 people, including 20 children. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to seek vengeance for the attack.

As Italy’s deputy prime minister, Tajani emphasized the need for both sides to avoid further escalation and called on Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt to help bring an end to hostilities. He stated, “We condemn the Hamas attack against Israel, which has the right to defend itself. This week I will be in Egypt to also discuss how to find a solution.”

Tajani assured that no Italian citizens or dual nationals were currently caught up in the conflict. However, he acknowledged that the Italian Embassy in Tel Aviv and the consulate in Jerusalem were closely monitoring the situation. Approximately 18,000 Italians with dual passports reside in Israel, along with around 500 tourists temporarily present in the country and a small number in the Gaza Strip. Tajani urged caution among Italians in the region due to the dangerous circumstances.

Israel’s Ambassador to Italy, Alon Bar, described the situation as a declaration of war by Hamas against Israel. He highlighted the unprecedented attack of thousands of rockets launched indiscriminately from Gaza, targeting Israeli cities. Bar also noted the infiltration of armed terrorists who had caused significant casualties among Israeli citizens. He emphasized that the inhabitants of Gaza were not Israel’s enemies and criticized Hamas for using them as human shields to launch missiles.

Bar expressed gratitude to the Italian government, political leaders, opposition parties, regional presidents, and various organizations for their public support of Israel. He also thanked the thousands of Italian citizens who had shown solidarity with Israel through messages of support.

The conflict between Hamas and Israel has resulted in a significant loss of life and widespread destruction. The international community, including Italy and Egypt, recognizes the urgent need for de-escalation and a peaceful resolution. Efforts to establish humanitarian corridors for the release of prisoners and protect vulnerable groups are crucial steps towards achieving stability in the region.

As tensions persist, it is essential for all parties involved to prioritize dialogue and diplomacy over violence. The support of neighboring countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt, is vital in facilitating negotiations and finding a lasting solution to the conflict.

Italy’s commitment to monitoring the safety of its citizens in the region and providing assistance through its embassy and consulate demonstrates its dedication to ensuring the well-being of its people. The solidarity shown by Italians towards Israel highlights the importance of international cooperation in times of crisis.

Ultimately, a peaceful resolution to the Hamas-Israel conflict is essential for the stability and security of the entire region. The support of countries like Italy and Egypt in promoting de-escalation efforts is a positive step towards achieving lasting peace.

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