An article by: Editorial board

As Israel enters its third week of conflict, the Pope has issued an appeal: “Stop! All wars are defeats.” The United States supports Israel's right to self-defense, but seeks to avoid escalation. The verbal demand is supported by all European leaders.

The telephone conversation between Pope Francis and Joe Biden lasted 20 minutes, and on October 22, according to the Vatican press service, they talked about the conflict in the world and “the need to determine paths to peace.” At the end of the Angel of the Lord prayer, Pope Francis himself made an appeal: “Stop! War, every war that exists in the world, is a defeat, it is the destruction of human brotherhood.”

The US administration’s complex strategy, which is essentially to destroy Hamas without igniting the Middle East tinder box, is turning into pressure on Netanyahu to delay the ground attack on the Gaza Strip, allow humanitarian aid to arrive (in recent hours, some trucks entered through Rafha, on the border with Egypt), and try to keep the situation under control in the north, avoiding the conflict spreading to Hezbollah and, consequently, Iran.

The Ayatollah’s regime itself has warned Israel and the USA that the risk of the situation in the Middle East becoming “uncontrollable” is just around the corner. Ismail Haniyeh, head of Hamas’s political bureau, discussed with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian how to stop the “brutal crimes.” Amir-Abdollahian himself called the region a “tinder box. I would like to warn the USA and the Israeli puppet regime that if they do not immediately put an end to crimes against humanity and genocide in Gaza, anything is possible at any moment, and the region will spin out of control.”

Meanwhile, Biden reaffirmed Israel’s right to “self-defense,” ordering Netanyahu to act “in accordance with the laws of war, guaranteeing maximum protection to civilians,” and Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated that “nobody wants escalation,” adding that in any case, the United States States “will be ready to act if necessary.”

China’s special envoy to the Middle East, Zhai Jun, also expressed concern that “the escalation of the conflict in Gaza is spreading regionally and internationally.” The diplomat explained that China will do “whatever is necessary” to promote dialogue and achieve a ceasefire, reiterating that the only solution is a two-state solution. Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is expected in Tehran today; The Iranian capital will host a “3+3” meeting of foreign ministers on the Caucasus region with the participation of Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, and Turkey.

On the evening of October 22, a telephone conversation took place between Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and the European leaders: Georgia Meloni (Italy), Emmanuel Macron (France), Olaf Scholz (Germany), and Rishi Sunak (UK). The talks focused on exploring the development of the serious crisis that began after the October 7 attack. The heads of state and government have committed to “continue close diplomatic coordination, particularly with key partners in the region, to prevent the conflict from spreading, maintain stability in the Middle East, and work toward a political solution and lasting peace.”

The EU’s position had previously been criticized by the same staff of European institutions that, in a letter with 850 signatures, criticized the “unconditional support” for Israel expressed by Ursula von der Leyen and the “apparent indifference” shown in regards to the “continuous massacre of civilians in the Gaza Strip, in violation of human rights and international humanitarian law.” The letter calls for an end to hostilities: “Along with the leaders of the entire Union, we call on you to demand ceasefire and protection of civilian life. This is the essence of the EU’s existence.”

Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani explained, “We continue to work on de-escalation, to prevent the war from becoming regionalized. We must ensure that Lebanon and Iran do not become participants in the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Without prejudice to Israel’s right to self-defense, but at the same time, the civilian population must be protected.”

Meanwhile, in the Gaza Strip, the humanitarian crisis is beginning to take on the dimensions of a real catastrophe, so the EU’s top foreign policy official, Josep Borrell, explained that “The most important thing now is to demand the delivery of humanitarian aid” to Gaza. In normal times, without war, about 100 trucks enter Gaza daily, so 20 is clearly not enough. It is important to do more and faster, particularly, deliver to Gaza the basic things that would ensure the restoration of water and electricity supply.”

Giornalisti e Redattori di Pluralia

Editorial board