'An absolute emergency'

Paris: Yesterday France held an international meeting to secure a long-term ceasefire in the Gaza Strip where an Israeli military offensive has killed hundreds of Palestinians.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius
(Left) French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius speaks with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond (centre) and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (right) at the meeting regarding a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel in Gaza in Paris. Pic/AFP

With the Israeli air and ground offensive against Gaza entering its 19th day and killing at least 1,030 Palestinians, top diplomats from France, the US, Britain, Germany, Qatar, Turkey, Italy and a representative of the European Union gathered in Paris “to try reaching a lasting truce in Gaza.”

Seven-day true
At the meeting, participants further backed Egypt’s initiative that called for a seven-day humanitarian truce during the celebration of Eid ul-Fitr that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. “For France, which fulfills its role as a bridge between the belligerents, ending this bloody conflict is an absolute emergency,” a statement issued by the Presidency office said.

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