Italy foreign minister calls on Israel to halt military operations in Gaza

By Thomson Reuters Apr 17, 2024 | 1:05 AM

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani on Wednesday called on Israel to halt its military operations in Gaza, reiterating that it was time for a cease-fire in the Palestinian enclave.

Italy initially backed Israel’s actions following the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas on its southern territories, but more recently it has softened its support in the light of the thousands of civilian deaths.

In an interview with daily La Stampa, Tajani stressed that the war in Gaza was triggered by the Hamas’s “barbaric” assault.

He then added: “however, now a cease-fire is necessary. Israel must stop the military operations that have massively affected the Palestinian population.”

The interview was conducted ahead of a meeting of foreign ministers of the Group of Seven wealthy nations which will be hosted by Tajani on the Italian island of Capri. Italy holds the rotating presidency of the G7.

(Reporting by Gavin Jones, editing by Francesca Piscioneri)