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Gaza: Italy and France appeal for truce – We are working toward dialogue aimed at peace, says Terzi

Italy is insisting on a ceasefire between Israelis and Palestinians. Giorgio Napolitano and Francois Hollande launched a joint appeal from Paris for a truce in Gaza. Napolitano, in particular, reiterated the “firmest condemnation of terrorism”, expressing “solidarity with Israel, which feels brutally attacked, and with the victims” of Gaza.

Containing the escalating violence

France and Italy, the two heads of state confirmed, are calling for “an immediate cessation of all violence, which is causing unjustifiable suffering among civilians”. They also “condemned in the firmest possible manner, all terrorist attacks”, reasserting Israel’s right to “protect its population from attacks that deliberately strike the civilian population. This right must be exercised in a proportionate manner and in such a way as to ensure the constant protection of civilians”. At the same time, Napolitano and Hollande continued, “We are convinced that whatever means necessary must be employed to contain an escalating violence that could further jeopardize the stability of the entire region, with unforeseeable consequences. In this spirit, France and Italy are determined to join in playing an active role, intensifying contacts with all parties concerned with imposing an enduring ceasefire”, with the aim of “creating the conditions that will permit the resumption of open and constructive dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians”.

Attack distances peace prospects

Condemnation of terrorism was also expressed by Minister Giulio Terzi, who accompanied President Napolitano to Paris, with regard to the effect on peace prospects caused by the Tel Aviv attack today, which he described as “a vile act of terrorism aimed at distancing the prospects for peace that have so actively engaged Western diplomacy and the principal regional actors over recent days”

The Italian government is heavily engaged in negotiations with representatives of Israel, Egypt, Turkey and Qatar, Terzi underscored, according to whom the prolongation or deterioration of the conflict would have “serious consequences at humanitarian level, but also on the stability of the region and the Mediterranean area”; in this context, Italy has confidence in the mediating role that Egypt could play. The Italian government urged the unified European position expressed during the latest Foreign Affairs Council, with its request for an immediate ceasefire and the lasting and sustainable solution to the conflict of two States peacefully co-existing side by side.

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