Italy calls for unilateral Israeli halt to Gaza fighting

IDF troops operating in the Gaza Strip in a photo released on April 17, 2024 (Israel Defense Forces)
IDF troops operating in the Gaza Strip in a photo released on April 17, 2024 (Israel Defense Forces)

Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani calls on Israel to halt its military operations in Gaza, reiterating that it was time for a ceasefire in the Palestinian enclave.

Italy initially backed Israel’s actions following the Oct. 7 assault by Hamas, but more recently it has softened its support.

In an interview with daily La Stampa, Tajani stressed that the war in Gaza was triggered by Hamas’s “barbaric” assault.

He then added: “However, now a ceasefire is necessary. Israel must stop the military operations that have massively affected the Palestinian population.”

The interview was conducted ahead of a meeting of foreign ministers of the Group of Seven wealthy nations which will be hosted by Tajani on the Italian island of Capri. Italy holds the rotating presidency of the G7.

Hamas has rejected a deal to release some of the hostages it holds in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners and a truce.

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