EU pressures Israel, Hamas to accept Biden’s peace plan

The European Union (EU) is urging Israel and the Palestinian militant movement Hamas to accept a plan laid out by U.S. President Joe Biden to end the Gaza war.
The plan sets out three phases of de-escalation, principally featuring a truce that would become permanent and Israel’s withdrawal from the Palestinian territory.
The EU gave its “full support to the comprehensive roadmap,” a statement said.
“Too many civilian lives have been lost.
“Peace and stability in the Middle East are in the interest of both peoples, of the region as a whole, as well as globally,” it said.
Qatar, the United States, and Egypt have been mediating between Israel and Hamas for weeks to achieve a ceasefire and an exchange of hostages for Palestinian prisoners.
Neither Israel nor Hamas have yet officially agreed to or rejected the plan.
The EU said it was also “increasingly concerned” about rising tensions at the border between Israel and Lebanon.
“It is concerned about the ever-growing destruction and the forced displacement of civilians on both sides” of the Israeli-Lebanese border.
“Nobody stands to win from a broader regional conflict. A de-escalation of the situation would significantly contribute to addressing the broader conflict in the Middle East.”
Since the war in the Gaza Strip began almost eight months ago, there have been daily military confrontations between the Israeli army and Hezbollah in the border area between Israel and Lebanon.
There have been deaths on both sides and about 150,000 people in both countries have been evacuated or left the combat zone.

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