Middle East, Europe

UK, German foreign ministers oppose calls ‘for general, immediate ceasefire’ in Gaza

Cameron and Baerbock, in a joint article, say more ‘humanitarian pauses’ are needed now to get more aid in Gaza, and urged Hamas to lay down its arms

Anadolu Staff  | 18.12.2023 - Update : 19.12.2023
UK, German foreign ministers oppose calls ‘for general, immediate ceasefire’ in Gaza


British Foreign Secretary David Cameron and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock opposed calls for a “general and immediate ceasefire” in Gaza, and instead pushed for more “humanitarian pauses” to deliver more aid for the civilian population.

In a joint article published in the Sunday Times, Cameron and Baerbock reiterated their support for Israel’s military campaign, and urged Hamas to law down its arms in order to pave the way for a “sustainable” cease-fire and peace in the region.

“We do not believe that calling right now for a general and immediate ceasefire, hoping it somehow becomes permanent, is the way forward,” the ministers argued.

“It ignores why Israel is forced to defend itself: Hamas barbarically attacked Israel and still fires rockets to kill Israeli citizens every day. Hamas must lay down its arms,” they said.

“Our goal cannot simply be an end to fighting today. It must be peace lasting for days, years, generations. We therefore support a ceasefire, but only if it is sustainable.”

Cameron and Baerbock promised that the two countries will step up diplomatic efforts for more “humanitarian pauses” to enable the delivery of essential aid to the civilian population in Gaza.

“We saw at the end of November: pauses work. So we are pushing the diplomatic effort to agree further pauses to get more aid in and more hostages out,” the ministers said.

They called on Hamas to stop firing rockets, and release all the hostages, but also reminded Israel of its obligations under international law.

“Israel will not win this war if its operations destroy the prospect of peaceful coexistence with Palestinians,” the ministers said.

“They have a right to eliminate the threat posed by Hamas. But too many civilians have been killed. The Israeli government should do more to discriminate sufficiently between terrorists and civilians, ensuring its campaign targets Hamas leaders and operatives,” they stressed.

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