Antonio Tajani just concluded a meeting with Giorgia Meloni at Palazzo Chigi. The main focus of the forum was the conflict in Israel. Some information collected and identified by our services was analysed. What emerged from this intelligence, at least according to our Minister of Foreign Affairs, is a certainty: “From the evidence shared by our intelligence and that of other countries, there is no element indicating that Israel is responsible for the bombing of the Gaza hospital. From the information collected, Israel’s responsibility appears to be excluded”.
Minister, how distant is the possibility of a cease-fire? Is it time for both parties to take a step backwards for a truce, or is it too early?
“Nobody would be able to make forecasts; it is too early. Acting like nothing happened is useless: it is well known by all that Israel has deployed thousands of soldiers over the border to access Gaza and hit Hamas terrorists. I hope we will soon have the conditions to return to political negotiations. We are working for this purpose. In the meantime, Israel and Egypt must allow humanitarian aid, relief and supplies to Gaza people and enable foreigners to leave the Gaza strips while protecting the lives of all hostages”.
Paradoxically, is it possible that this tragedy might be the right occasion to settle the conflict between the two peoples?
“I would like to share this hope with you. The hope is that a deep crisis might drive an improvement. But we cannot be naive: we are still in a military crisis. There is just one direction: moving towards a solution that contemplates the safety and aspirations of the two peoples. According to many, a solution that includes a Palestinian State is almost impossible, but I refuse to believe it. Political willingness and resolve still have solutions to offer. As for Israel, the best way to neutralise Hamas’ project is to give the Palestinian people a concrete hope”.
Many taboo subjects emerge from both sides when discussing Israel and Palestine. Do you think both parties made mistakes?
“I am neither a historian nor a judge, so I do not feel able to evaluate that. We are completely and deeply close to Israel when it comes to protecting itself from horrible terrorist acts. We will also be close to Israel in remembering that, to survive, the Palestinian people have the right not to be left hostage by Hamas. This people is entitled to have their future not in the hands of terrorists”.
Should Arab Countries commit more to achieving a diplomatic solution?
“At this moment, Italy is acting as a protagonist and playing a role that could be important and effective. We have open dialogues with all the parties. I visited both Israel and Amman. All these Arab countries give us the same answer: a new war should be avoided. We should all understand that the Palestinian issue is central to the Mediterranean. But, together, they should build the conditions for Israel not to be concerned about its future and stability”.
The Palestinian people lack a ruling class able to deal with this situation. Israel is perhaps not in a different condition, given the judgments on Netanyahu expressed by part of the country’s establishment. What does this data tell us?
“Those who will make peace or war are Israelis and Palestinians. We are not the ones who can judge their leadership quality. But we must be more energetic regarding dangerous political drifts for them, as a political failure is automatically a threat to us. Because of the magnitude of the actors potentially involved, their war would be a direct threat to all of us. Continuing in an intermittent state of war will sooner or later be a disaster for us”.
Can one imagine what was done in Kosovo for Gaza and the West Bank, with an international protectorate and a peacekeeping force?
“It is an interesting question; it is the real question: we are all working dramatically to curb the possibility of a new war escalation. But after that? Who will govern Gaza? The Israelis? I don’t think so. Then who? The United Nations? A coalition of the willing? But even before that, who will enter Gaza to look after the lives of 2 million people? Even without new military action, Gaza is already a nightmare; we must unite and prepare to respond to this emergency better than in the past”.