Brussels 21.05.2021 Israel/Palestine: Statement by the High Representative Josep Borrell on the ceasefire:
“The European Union welcomes the announced ceasefire bringing to an end the violence in and around Gaza. We commend Egypt, Qatar, United Nations, United States and others who have played a facilitating role in this.
“We are appalled and regret the loss of life over these past 11 days. As the EU has consistently reiterated, the situation in the Gaza Strip has long been unsustainable. Only a political solution will bring sustainable peace and end once for all the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Restoring a political horizon towards a two-state solution now remains of utmost importance. The EU is ready to fully support Israeli and Palestinian authorities in these efforts.
“The EU is renewing its engagement with key international partners, including the United States, and other partners in the region, as well as with the revitalised Middle East Quartet, to this end”.
The ceasefire began early on Friday, bringing to an end 11 days of fighting in which more than 250 people were killed, most of them in Gaza.
Palestinians poured on to the streets of Gaza soon after the truce began, while a Hamas official warned the group had not let down its guard.
Both Israel and Hamas have claimed victory in the conflict.
US President Joe Biden said the ceasefire brought a “genuine opportunity” for progress.
Soon after it started at 02:00 on Friday (23:00 GMT on Thursday), large numbers of Palestinians took to the streets in cars and on foot to celebrate. In Gaza, drivers honked their horns, while loudspeakers from mosques pronounced “the victory of the resistance”.
Israel’s military said it was removing nearly all emergency restrictions on movement throughout the country.