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Prime Minister on the situation in the Middle East: A ceasefire is essential for civilian aid

Prime Minister Robert Golob today attended the International Humanitarian Conference for the Civilian Population in Gaza, hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron. The key aim of the conference is to improve the coordination of international aid for Gaza and gather additional humanitarian funds for the affected civilian population.

EU heads of state, high representatives of Arab countries and high representatives of international and regional organisations agreed that the acts of the terrorist group Hamas must be strongly condemned, calling on the immediate release of hostages taken by Hamas on 7 October. According to international organisations, more than 10,000 Palestinian civilians have died since the start of attacks on Gaza, the majority of whom were women, children and older people. More than 24,000 people have been wounded, roughly 2,000 are missing.

Recently, UN Secretary-General António Guterres pointed out that what we are witnessing in Gaza is not a humanitarian crisis but a crisis of humanity. According to Prime Minister Robert Golob, the bombing and shelling of civilian targets that we are seeing today are completely disproportionate to the right of defence, which no one in the international community denies Israel. "Calls on Israel to respect international law, in particular international humanitarian law, in exercising this right have, unfortunately, not been successful to date," emphasized the Prime Minister.

According to witnesses on the ground, both humanitarian and UN workers, it is not possible to deliver humanitarian aid unless there is an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. "A ceasefire is essential if aid is to be provided to civilians", highlighted the Prime Minister, adding that the conference’s participants unanimously agreed that humanitarian aid must reach the population immediately.

Slovenia has already made a considerable contribution to such humanitarian aid. Yesterday, the Government approved an additional million in aid to Palestine, thus doubling its contribution. "However, we are all aware that there is only one goal – a just and lasting peace in the region," remarked Prime Minister.

The Slovenian Government will continue implementing the policy of supporting peace, protecting the civilian population and seeking a political solution involving both countries. Only a solution with both countries, Israel and Palestine, will lead to peace and dignity for both the Israeli and Palestinian people.