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EU leaders call for 'immediate humanitarian pause' in Gaza

Twenty-seven leaders of the European Union have called for an "immediate humanitarian pause" in the Gaza Strip leading to a sustainable ceasefire.

The EU leaders requested a statement on Thursday after a meeting of the European Council in Brussels.


"The European Council calls for an immediate humanitarian pause leading to a sustainable ceasefire," the leaders said, while also calling for "the unconditional release of all hostages."


They also urged Israel not to launch its planned ground operation in Rafah, saying it would worsen the “already catastrophic humanitarian situation” in Gaza.


They added that Rafah offensive would also prevent the provision of basic services and humanitarian assistance to civilians.


More than a million Palestinians are "currently seeking safety from the fighting and access to humanitarian assistance there," the leaders noted.


The EU leaders expressed deep concern about the catastrophic situation of children in Gaza and the imminent risk of famine caused by the insufficient entry of aid.


They called for full, rapid, and unhindered humanitarian access into Gaza.


Israel launched the war against Gaza on October 7. However, almost six months into the offensive, the Tel Aviv regime has failed to achieve its objectives of "destroying Hamas" and finding Israeli captives despite killing at least 31,923 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injuring 74,096 others.


In response, resistance movements from Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen have been carrying out military operations against the Tel Aviv regime and its interests in the region.


Following four days of siege, Israeli forces on Thursday blew up the main surgical building at Al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest medical complex.


The complex served as a place of refuge for thousands of Palestinians in search of safe haven.


The Zionist regime’s military ordered the people inside to evacuate before they demolished it.


A senior Hamas official said on Thursday the resistance group showed “flexibility” in formulating its latest proposal for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, but Israel provided a “negative” response to the offer.


Osama Hamdan, a Lebanon-based Hamas official, made the remarks at a news conference in Beirut on Wednesday, as a new round of talks, involving Egyptian, Qatari and US mediators, is underway in Doha aimed at securing a Gaza truce deal.


“The movement responded to the demands of the mediators… and showed flexibility that paves the way for an agreement,” he said.