Israel-Gaza: PES president welcomes the ceasefire agreement and hostages release

Israel-Gaza: PES president welcomes the ceasefire agreement and hostages release

Merav Michaeli, leader of Israel labour Party Havodah (left) during the PES congress in Malaga next to the young Anat, whose grandmother Adina Moshe is one of the 13 hostages released by Hamas last night. PHOTO: PES CONGRESS 2023

On the recent ceasfire agreement between Israel and Hamas, the PES president Stefan Löfven said:

“I welcome the agreement that allowed the first release of the hostages from Gaza and the prisoners from Israel, and the achievement of a four-day humanitarian pause. I can only imagine the joy and relief of their families and reiterate our call for the release of all hostages brutally kidnapped by Hamas. 

While praising the ceasefire agreement, I wish to underline once more our position on the Israeli-Gaza conflict stated in the PES Congress resolution adopted just two weeks ago: 
“Following the terrorist attacks perpetrated by Hamas on the 7th of October Israel has the full right to defend itself, but it also has a duty to fully comply with international law and international humanitarian law and to protect civilian lives.”

“I believe that the humanitarian tragedy in Gaza must stop. Humanitarian aid, as well as the provision of water, electricity, fuel, medicines, and food, must urgently be allowed to safely enter Gaza. Displaced people in and from Gaza must be allowed to return to their homes as soon as possible”, the PES President Löfven added.

As PES we remain appalled by the thousands of civilians, especially the children, killed, wounded, and displaced as a result of the last seven weeks of escalation alone.
The PES has supported since the beginning Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez in his call for an international peace conference in the Middle East. Progressive forces and the international community at large, involving all the regional actors concerned, should put all their weight to achieve step by step a lasting political agreement based on a two-state solution, that allows Palestinians and Israelis to live in peace and in security.