Even after European countries recognized the state of Palestine, Israel did not leave

In early May, the president of Colombia, Israel’s main ally in Latin America, announced the severing of diplomatic ties between the two countries, calling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government a “genocide.” Gaza

“Reward” to Hamas

Benjamin Netanyahu, a staunch opponent of the idea of ​​such a state alongside Israel, said recognizing a Palestinian state would be “a reward for terrorism”. “We cannot give a state to this evil.”

“After the terrorist organization Hamas massacred the Jews (…) these countries chose to reward Hamas and (…) recognize the Palestinian state,” said Mr. Katz underlined.

The three European countries announced their decision on October 7, 2023, as war erupted between Israel and Hamas after an unprecedented offensive by Palestinian Islamist movement commandos into southern Israel from the neighboring Gaza Strip.

The attack killed more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP count based on official Israeli data. Of the 252 hostages taken on October 7, 124 were still being held in Gaza, the military said, of which 37 had been killed.

The families of five Israeli soldiers held hostage in Gaza have authorized the release of images of their captors, showing young women, some with bloodied faces, sitting on the floor in their pajamas with their hands tied behind their captors. Transported in a jeep.

In response to the attack, Mr. Netanyahu vowed to destroy Hamas, and his army launched a devastating offensive in the Gaza Strip, where Hamas, considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the European Union and the United States, took power in 2007. .

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At least 35,709 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed in the attack, according to the Health Ministry of the Hamas-led Palestinian Regional Government.

“Blank Shells”

The Palestinian Islamic Movement hailed Wednesday’s recognition as an “important step” and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the Palestinians’ sole official representative on the international stage, spoke of “historic moments.” Arab countries also welcomed.

But in Rafah, a town in southern Gaza that comes under daily Israeli bombardment, 35-year-old Ahmed Ziyad denounced such recognition as “empty shells if not supported by the US and other European countries (…)”.

US President Joe Biden, a key supporter of Israel, reiterated that a “Palestinian state (must be created through direct negotiations between the parties) not through unilateral recognition.”

“High Target” at Rafa

These latest developments come as Israeli soldiers continue their ground operations “against Hamas targets” in the Rafah areas.

The United States, which had threatened to cut off some weapons supplies to Israel if a large-scale ground attack on Rafah, where more than a million civilians are trapped, ruled on Wednesday that the move was now “more targeted and limited.” While expressing concern about the fate of civilians there.

By entering eastern Rafah with their tanks, the army also took control of the Palestinian side of the designated crossing point with Egypt, the main gateway for humanitarian aid, and later closed it.

Since then, aid has virtually ceased, while the 1.1 million Palestinians in Gaza face “catastrophic conditions,” according to the UN.

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