Tokyo – The foreign ministers of the G7 group of economically advanced countries issued a joint statement at the end of the meeting in the Japanese capital Tokyo, in which they supported “humanitarian pauses and corridors” allowing the delivery of aid to Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip. In the communique, they also condemned the Palestinian radical movement Hamas and affirmed Israel’s right to self-defense in accordance with international law, while at the same time emphasizing the importance of protecting civilians. The Kyódó agency informed about it today.
According to Kyodo, achieving a unified position on the current conflict in the Middle East was more difficult for the G7 states than finding a common voice on the war in Ukraine. In the statement, the G7 countries try to balance criticism of Hamas attacks on Israel while supporting urgent action to help civilians in the Gaza Strip, where there is a lack of food, water, medical care and housing, Kyodo writes.
The latest conflict in the Middle East was unleashed on October 7 by Hamas with a brutal attack on Israeli territory, during which the militants killed 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapped at least 240 others, according to Israeli sources. Israel responded by intensively bombarding the Gaza Strip, controlled by Hamas, cutting the strip off from electricity, fuel, food and water supplies, and subsequently launched a ground operation. The Palestinian health authorities, which are controlled by Hamas in the strip, announced on Tuesday that the number of victims of the Israeli strikes had already exceeded 10,300.
In a statement today, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his counterparts from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and Italy supported short-term humanitarian pauses that, in addition to transporting aid to the Gaza Strip, should also allow civilians to leave the threatened areas. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, declared last week after the meeting with Blinken that Israel would condition any temporary truce on the release of the kidnapped hostages.
In today’s statement, the heads of the G7 diplomacy further called on Iran not to support the Hamas and Hezbollah movements and not to take any steps that would lead to destabilization of the Middle East. They also criticized the “increase in violence by radical Jewish settlers against the Palestinians”, which, according to the ministers, is “unacceptable, disrupts security in the West Bank and threatens hopes for lasting peace”.
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