Emergency Meeting Called To ‘Harmonise’ EU’s Response To Israel-Hamas War
As fears grow over the Israel-Hamas conflict worsening into a wider war and triggering a humanitarian catastrophe in the region, an emergency meeting of the heads of EU member states has been called on Tuesday to “harmonise” the bloc’s response to the violence.
Ukraine, too, remains a huge concern. While the EU and the US’s support for the Kyiv government has not faltered, there is a looming risk of a wider war in the Middle East sparking competition not just for military support but for political attention.
The Lack Of Coordination Cannot Continue
The EU admits it has struggled to put on a united front as it did in February 2023 when Russia invaded Ukraine. Furthermore, there are concerns the raging Israel-Gaza war will weaken the coalition of support the bloc had built in the global south.
European Council President Charles Michel issued a joint statement on Sunday after a weekend of frantic calls, but after a week of rows over funding for Palestine and European Commission President von der Leyen’s trip to Israel, insiders say the lack of coordination cannot continue.
The commission and member states are concerned about the plight of EU citizens who have been taken hostage by Hamas and the estimated EU civilians in Gaza. And there are worries about antisemitism and hate crimes increasing in home territories.
Blinken Announces Biden’s Plan To Travel To Tel Aviv
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden is set to travel to Israel for talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday. His travel plans come as the humanitarian situation in Gaza grows more dire and as Israel prepares for a ground attack to root out Hamas militants.
The US and Israel have agreed to develop a plan that will enable aid to reach civilians in the Gaza Strip, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said early on Tuesday. He noted the two sides were discussing the “possibility of creating areas to help keep civilians out of harm’s way”.