Italy urges Israel to exercise restraint after Iran attack, calls for cease-fire in Gaza

‘Cease-fire is now necessary' in Gaza, says Foreign Minister Tajani

13:14 - 17/04/2024 среда
Italy's Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani
Italy's Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani

Italy's Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani Wednesday urged Tel Aviv to exercise restraint in the wake of Iran's weekend attack on Israel and called for a cease-fire in Gaza.

“Israel has obtained a clear success, neutralizing almost completely the effects of the unacceptable Iranian attack. So, I expressed our wish that they stop here, consolidating this political and military success,” Tajani said in an interview with Italian daily La Stampa.

The foreign minister said he told his Israeli counterpart Israel Katz that the Jewish state should show restraint after Iran's attack and not retaliate, adding that Katz would convey Italy's position to Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Iran on Saturday launched an airborne attack on Israel in retaliation for an April 1 airstrike on its diplomatic compound in the Syrian capital. It reportedly fired more than 300 drones and missiles, with almost all intercepted by the air defense systems of Israel and its allies – the US, France and the UK.

The G-7 Foreign Ministers will meet Wednesday evening in Capri, Italy, to lay down a joint position on the matter and a roadmap of common political actions against the danger of a broader war in the Middle East.

Condemning Hamas' last October attack in Israel, Tajani said: “Now a cease-fire is necessary: Israel must stop its military operations which have massively involved the Palestinian population.”

Israel has waged a military offensive on Gaza since a cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas on Oct. 7, which killed nearly 1,200 people.

More than 33,800 Palestinians have since been killed and 76,600 others injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities, according to the Gaza-based Health Ministry.

Israel has also imposed a crippling blockade on the seaside enclave, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation.

The war has pushed 85% of Gaza's population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while much of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to ensure its forces do not commit acts of genocide, and guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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