Israel-Hamas: European Council member states meet this Thursday to try to find an agreement

Arthur Delaborde, edited by Loane Nader // photo credit: KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP
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8:40 a.m., October 26, 2023

Barely returned from his diplomatic visit to Israel to provide support against Hamas, Emmanuel Macron is already moving on to the European Council in Brussels. This meeting will be an opportunity for the 27 Member States to perhaps finally find a common position in the face of the war which is worsening day by day in the Middle East.

This Thursday, the 27 heads of state of the European Union are gathering in Brussels as part of the European Council. Emmanuel Macron will be present to represent France after having supported Benjamin Netanyahu against Hamas. The stakes are therefore high for the participants, who must assert their unity more than ever on the Israeli-Palestinian question, as an advisor to the Élysée underlines. The task promises to be particularly difficult and this Wednesday was proof of it: diplomats from the Member States failed to agree on the conditions which would allow humanitarian aid to be delivered to Gaza.

The European Union, Israel’s largest trading partner

France, Belgium and Spain are for their part pleading for a humanitarian pause, a term refused in particular by Germany, which considers it contradictory with Israel’s right to defend itself. It is therefore a semantic battle which reflects much deeper divisions within Europe over the Middle East conflict.

Sensitivities are, to say the least, different between the 27, with some showing less solidarity with Israel than others. The primary goal of this Brussels summit is therefore to overcome political blockages to try to prevent the conflagration. In principle, the European Union seems to have the means to influence both parties, since it is both Israel’s largest trading partner and the world’s largest donor of aid to the Palestinians.

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