European Leaders Urge Israel and Hamas to End Gaza Conflict; Germany Shifts Stance on Ceasefire, Putting More Pressure on Israel.

Growing anti-Israel sentiment in Europe: The shift towards divesting and recognizing a Palestinian state

European leaders met at a summit in Brussels and urged both Israel and Hamas to end the ongoing six-month conflict in Gaza. The call for a humanitarian ceasefire was led by Germany, which had previously opposed a harsher version of the ceasefire. This shift puts more pressure on Israel, especially with the possibility of a military operation in Rafah.

The joint European statement highlighted the importance of UNRWA’s work in Gaza, despite Israeli demands to dismantle the organization. The message also emphasized the need to avoid invading Rafah, release Israeli hostages held by Hamas, and increase humanitarian aid to the region. Pro-Palestinian countries in the European Union discussed recognizing a Palestinian state unilaterally during their separate meeting.

Europe’s stance towards Israel has shifted due to growing concerns about its actions in the region and the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza. Many European countries have halted arms exports to Israel and are considering suspending association agreements with the country. Non-governmental organizations are also calling for an end to European funding of Israeli defense companies involved in drone development.

In Scandinavia and Nordic countries, Israel is facing even more challenges due to investments from Norway’s Wealth Fund, one of the largest investment bodies in the world, reevaluating its holdings in international and Israeli companies following Gaza conflict. The fund is investigating companies that sell weapons to Israel for use in Gaza after divesting from Israeli companies involved in unethical activities beforehand.

Overall, Europe’s political decisions and civil society actions are increasingly turning against Israel, with potential repercussions for investments and trade relationships. This shift reflects a broader trend of growing international scrutiny of Israel’s actions in Palestinian territories and raises questions about its standing within global community.

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