The European Union has given its "full support" to an Israel-Gaza ceasefire deal floated by US President Joe Biden, officials from within the bloc have confirmed. (Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)


EU gives ‘full support’ to Biden’s Gaza ceasefire plan


The European Union has given its “full support” to an Israel-Gaza ceasefire deal floated by US President Joe Biden, officials have confirmed.

In a statement, the Council of the EU has urged authorities in both Israel and Palestine to accept the deal, which involves the full return of hostages and the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.

“The European Union gives its full support to the comprehensive roadmap presented by President Biden, that would lead to an enduring ceasefire in Gaza, the release of all hostages and a surge of humanitarian assistance to Gaza,” read the statement, published late on June 4.

“Too many civilian lives have been lost … Peace and stability in the Middle East are in the interest of both peoples, of the region as a whole, as well as globally.

“The EU urges both parties to accept and fulfil the three-phase proposal and stands ready to contribute to reviving a political process for a lasting and sustainable peace, based on the two state solution, and to support a coordinated international effort to rebuild Gaza,” it concluded.

Josep Borrell has endorsed the statement, with the European Commission foreign affairs tsar also urging “both parties to accept the proposal”.

It comes as the deal is viewed with scepticism in Jerusalem, with several senior ministers threatening to quit the Israeli Government should Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sign off on the agreement.

“If you sign a reckless deal that will bring an end to the war without the collapse of Hamas, [my party] will dissolve the government,” the country’s hard-right national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, publicly threatened in parliament.

Netanyahu has responded that the deal – which he has provisionally assented to – meets all of Israel’s core goals in the conflict, including the dismantling of Hamas.

Right-wing ministers have responded by saying that any description of the draft deal does not include anything about defanging the Palestinian paramilitary organisation, alleging that any time they have asked the Israeli PM to see the full draft of the agreement, they have been refused.

Western leaders are piling pressure onto Netanyahu to sign-off on the ceasefire deal.

On June 4, Biden appeared to agree that the Israeli leader looked as if he was extending the war in the region for his own political ends.

“I’m not going to comment on that,” he began, before quickly adding: “There is every reason for people to draw that conclusion.”

French President Emmanuel Macron has also reportedly been pushing Netanyahu to accept the agreement, telling the Israeli PM during a phone call that the conflict in the region “must end”.

He reportedly added that the onus on doing so lies mainly with Hamas, whom he is said to have described as holding “overwhelming” responsibility for making sure the deal succeeds.