Italy, France, Germany call for EU sanctions on Hamas: Report

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In a joint letter to the European Union foreign policy chief, Josep Borrel, the top diplomats of Italy, France and Germany have called on the union to impose ad hoc sanctions against Hamas and its supporters, The Guardian has reported.

“We express our full support for the… proposal to create an ad hoc sanctions regime against Hamas and its supporters,” said the letter, according to The Guardian.

“The swift adoption of this sanctions regime will enable us to send a strong political message about the EU’s commitment against Hamas and our solidarity with Israel,” the letter noted.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Dec. 10 criticized western leaders, telling his cabinet that they were being inconsistent with their support for Israel’s stated war aim of destroying Hamas.

Briefing his cabinet, he said he had told the leaders of France, Germany and other countries that they cannot simultaneously endorse the elimination of Hamas while pressuring Israel to halt the war, which would hinder the objective of eliminating Hamas.

On the other hand, the prime ministers of Spain, Belgium, Ireland, and Malta have taken an opposite approach. They jointly penned a letter to the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, urging a resolute position on the Gaza situation ahead of the upcoming EU Council summit scheduled for Dec. 14-15 in Brussels.

The letter, signed by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, and Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela, underscored the necessity for a focused discussion on the Gaza situation and a strong commitment to a two-state solution during the summit.

The joint letter, led by Spain, which will complete its EU presidency at the end of December, and Belgium, which is set to take over the presidency on Jan. 1, emphasizes the urgency of addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

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