Top EU diplomat meets Palestinian premier, renews Gaza ceasefire call

Brussels, May 26 : The European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, reiterated calls for a ceasefire in Gaza and the release of Israeli hostages kidnapped by Hamas, following a meeting with the Palestinian Authority’s new prime minister in Brussels on Sunday.

“We must do everything in our power to reach an immediate end of the hostilities, to achieve the immediate release of all hostages, to alleviate the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Gaza,” said Borrell at a press conference.

Borrell was speaking at European Commission headquarters alongside Mohammad Mustafa, the recently appointed prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, which governs in the West Bank, and Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide.

The three met donors to the Palestinian Authority in Brussels on Sunday to discuss the newly-formed government in the West Bank, led by Mustafa.

Borrell also said allegations that Israel is committing “genocide” should be investigated.

Noting an ruling by the United Nations’ International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Friday, which ordered Israel to stop its offensive in the Gazan city of Rafah, Borrell said: “This important international Court of Justice verdict also orders Israel to ensure access to any United Nations mandate investigating the allegations of genocide.”

While he emphasized that he’s only calling them “allegations”, Borrell added, “they have to be investigated according with the ruling of the ICJ.”

Norway – which is not a member of the EU – announced on Wednesday that it will recognize the state of Palestine. The EU itself cannot do the same unless all of its 27 member states do so first.

Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007 after elections the previous year led to fighting between Hamas and Fatah, which controls the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

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