EU's Josep Borrell sets out proposals for post-war Gaza

Money alone will not provide a solution to the construction of a Palestinian state, Borrell says

The EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell in Brussels, Belgium, on November 13. EPA
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EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called on Arab countries to play a greater role in a future Palestinian government, as he set out proposals on Monday for how Gaza should be run after the Israel war.

Mr Borrell said it was vital to think about what happens after the war, before he embarked on a trip to Israel, the Palestinian territories and neighbouring countries this week.

The international community had failed "politically and morally" to bring a durable settlement to the long-running conflict between Palestinians and Israelis, and it was now time to try harder to find a two-state solution, he said.

After an EU foreign ministers' meeting in Brussels, he told reporters his proposals say "no" to three things and "yes" to three others.

Mr Borrell said no to any forced displacement of Palestinians from Gaza, to a permanent re-occupation by the Israeli military or any change to Gaza's size, and to a return of Hamas.

He said there should be "a Palestinian authority", which could be a "reinforced" version of the current Palestinian Authority that runs the West Bank, "with a legitimacy to be defined and decided upon by the Security Council".

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Mr Borrell said Arab countries would have to be more strongly involved in supporting this Palestinian Authority and that the EU should also be more involved in the region, particularly in building a Palestinian state.

"There will be no solution without strong commitment from the Arab states, and that cannot be limited to money. They can't just pay … for a physical reconstruction," he said.

"There has to be a political contribution to the construction of a Palestinian state."

While the EU has not been a major diplomatic player in the current crisis, it does have some influence in the region, not least as the biggest aid donor to the Palestinians.

"We have been far too absent," Mr Borrell said. "We have delegated the solution of this problem to the United States.

"But Europe must become more involved."

Updated: November 14, 2023, 4:36 AM