_
_
_
_
_
ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR
Editorials
These are the responsibility of the editor and convey the newspaper's view on current affairs-both domestic and international

A Palestinian state is urgently needed

The time has come for the EU’s wishes for peace to give way to facts, as reflected in Josep Borrell’s initiative

Josep Borrell
The High Representative of the EU, Josep Borrell, during the meeting of foreign ministers Monday in Brussels.OLIVIER HOSLET (EFE)
El País

Without a Palestinian state, there will be no peace or security. The arrival point of the peace process initiated in Madrid (1991) and Oslo (1993) left the door open to a final resolution that could involve the creation of a Palestinian state coexisting with Israel. With the efforts of three decades definitively ruined by Hamas’ atrocious attack on October 7 on Israeli territory, and by Israel’s disproportionate and indiscriminate military response in Gaza, a formula is now gaining traction that implies the temporal inversion of the terms and which is gaining broad international consensus, including from the United States. This formula converts the recognition of the Palestinian state into the premise for peace, rather than its consequence. It is this view that is contemplated in the plan presented yesterday by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, to the foreign ministers of the 27 member states.

The implicit purpose is to momentarily contribute to putting maximum pressure on Israel to exit Gaza instead of prolonging the war and increasing the toll of deaths, injuries and destruction to the point of putting at risk the future of the Strip as a habitat for the Palestinians. Hence Borrell’s harsh and direct questions to Benjamin Netanyahu in the face of his repeated refusal to accept the two states: “What other solutions do you have in mind? Force all Palestinians to leave? Kill them off?”

The European Union seeks an end to the war and is willing, if necessary, to participate in the international imposition of the terms of the agreements that the parties involved have never been able to deliver on. The new peace plan must be comprehensive and include all aspects of the conflict, instead of following the gradualist method that characterized the previous ones. It is about guaranteeing security for the entire region, for Israel and for Palestine, instead of leaving gaps conducive to the breakdown of the process. As it gets underway, the EU proposes to end the war, alleviate the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, avoid regional escalation, obtain the release of the hostages, strengthen the Palestinian Authority and begin the recovery and reconstruction of Gaza and the communities of southern Israel attacked by Hamas.

Hence the meeting prior to the Foreign Affairs Council with the corresponding Arab ministers and with the Israeli and Palestinian ministers. The European plan includes holding an international conference as soon as possible — Madrid and Brussels are being nominated as the venue — not to open up a process without deadlines but to culminate it with a Palestinian state within a year. The road will not be easy. From the outset, the blunt blockade of the Palestinian state by the current Israeli government is nothing new, and it stands in open dispute with the White House for the same reason; it is also under domestic pressure from the relatives of the hostages, discouraged by a strategy that prioritizes war over the liberation of kidnapped individuals and which has so far achieved such terrible results.

On the other hand, and despite Borrell’s efforts, the EU still does not have a single voice regarding the conflict between Israel and Hamas. The demand of countries such as Spain or Belgium for an immediate ceasefire is in contrast with the reluctance of others such as Germany or Austria. Meanwhile, France and Italy have joined the criticism of the growing number of Palestinian civilian deaths. It is, however, to be celebrated that, despite their discrepancies, the Twenty-Seven agree that lasting peace requires a two-state solution.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get more English-language news coverage from EL PAÍS USA Edition

More information

Archived In

Recomendaciones EL PAÍS
Recomendaciones EL PAÍS
_
_