EU’s top diplomat: Establishment of Palestinian state is best guarantee for Israeli security

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell speaks during the IISS Manama security conference in the Bahraini capital on November 18, 2023. (Mazen Mahdi/AFP)
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell speaks during the IISS Manama security conference in the Bahraini capital on November 18, 2023. (Mazen Mahdi/AFP)

BRUSSELS — EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell says the establishment of a Palestinian state would be the best way of ensuring Israel’s security.

Borrell held a video meeting Monday with foreign ministers from the EU’s 27 countries after touring the Middle East for talks on Israel’s war with Hamas.

The EU’s top diplomat says that he has drawn “a fundamental political conclusion” from his discussions across the region.

“I think that the best guarantee for Israel’s security is the creation of a Palestinian state,” Borrell says in a written summary of the EU meeting.

Borrell has insisted Israel should not occupy Gaza after the current conflict ends and that control of the territory should be handed over to the Palestinian Authority.

“Despite the huge challenges, we have to advance our reflections on the stabilization of Gaza and the future Palestinian state,” he says.

In the short-term, Borrell says, after visiting a string of Arab states, that there is a “sense of urgency” over the desperate humanitarian situation in Gaza.

“The UN Security Council resolution calling for immediate humanitarian pauses is a big step forward, but we must ensure its rapid implementation,” the EU official says.

Another major fear is the possibility of the conflict further enflaming volatile situation in the West Bank and dragging in other actors in the Middle East.

“In light of increased extremists and settlers’ violence against Palestinians there is a real risk that the situation could escalate,” Borrell says.

“Reports of a ship hijacked by the Houthis are another worrying signal of a risk of the regional spill over.”

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