Meloni, Netanyahu agree more aid is needed for Gaza

Meloni, Netanyahu agree more aid is needed for Gaza

Both prime ministers share need to avoid further escalations along Israel-Lebanon border

By Giovanni Legorano

ROME (AA) - Italy’s Premier Giorgia Meloni agreed with her Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu that humanitarian assistance to Gaza’s civilians needs to be reinforced, Meloni’s office said on Monday.

“In the call, the shared assessment that humanitarian assistance for Gaza’s civilian population needs to be reinforced emerged,” her office said about the content of a phone call the two premiers had.

The pair also agreed that an increase in tensions along the Israel-Lebanon border needs to be avoided, her office added.

Although Meloni acknowledges Israel’s right to self-defense, she expressed her wish to Netanyahu that a sustainable cease-fire with Hamas and the release of Israeli hostages can be reached as soon as possible, according to her office.

Both objectives need to be achieved in accordance with UN resolution N. 2735 and with the mediation of the US, he office said.

Israel, flouting a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire, has faced international condemnation amid its continued brutal offensive on Gaza since an Oct. 7, 2023 attack by the Palestinian group Hamas.

Nearly 38,200 Palestinians have since been killed, mostly women and children, and over 87,900 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Nine months into the Israeli war, vast tracts of Gaza lie in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, whose latest ruling ordered it to immediately halt its military operation in the southern city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.

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