Italy calls for de-escalation in ongoing Israeli-Palestine conflict

Italy calls for de-escalation in ongoing Israeli-Palestine conflict

Israel’s right to self-defense must be 'proportionate,' says foreign minister

By Ahmet Gencturk

ATHENS (AA) - Italy on Monday called for de-escalation in the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict, state-run ANSA news agency reported.

Speaking to the press upon arrival at the meeting of the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani remarked that there needs to be a de-escalation in the Israel-Gaza conflict with an end to the firing of rockets by Hamas and Hezbollah, according to the agency.

Reiterating that Israel has the right to defend itself, he warned that this right must be used “in a proportionate way, without indiscriminately hitting the civilian population in Gaza.”

Also speaking on the occasion, Finnish Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen urged the EU to be more active in resolving the conflict, according to the public broadcaster YLE.

Emphasizing that the union has an interest in creating the right conditions for starting the frozen peace negotiations between Palestine and Israel, she added: “First of all, however, we need to provide aid on the ground, to get it through, to stabilize the situation in Gaza.”

The conflict in Gaza, under Israeli bombardment since Oct. 7, began when Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, a multi-pronged surprise attack that included a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel by land, sea, and air. It said the incursion was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and growing violence by Israeli settlers.

The Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army continues to target Gaza with intensive airstrikes that have destroyed entire neighborhoods, killing 5,087 Palestinians, including 2,055 children and 1,119 women, and injuring 15,273, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.

The ministry said over 1,500 people are still trapped under the rubble.

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