Parliament’s foreign affairs committee condemns attacks by Hamas

In an emergency meeting of the Foreign and European Affairs Committee, MPs condemned the recent attacks in the Middle East while also acknowledging that the Israeli siege is illegal

Parlament’s foreign affairs committee has condemned the recent attacks in the Middle East by the terrorist group Hamas. 

Discussing Malta's stance on the attack in an emergency Foreign & European Affairs Committee meeting on Thursday, all members agreed there is no justification for such an attack on Israel.

In his speech, Foreign Affairs Minister Ian Borg explained that Israel has the unequivocal right to defend itself within the parameters of international law and in adherence to the rules of war and self-defence.

Nationalist MP pointed out that such law does not include the great siege announced by Israel on Wednesday.

"It is also an act of aggression, depriving the Gaza territory of food, water, medicine, and electricity. While one can appreciate Israel's perspective, we must not turn a blind eye to the potential harm this poses to hundreds of innocent Palestinians," de Marco emphasized.

"Hospitals in Gaza's territory cannot function without electricity, and with medicine supplies depleting rapidly, they are at risk of becoming nothing more than mortuaries," he added.

When reacting to this, Borg seemed to agree with de Marco but also recalled the hundreds of hostages that Hamas has in their possession.

Taking all this into consideration, the committee seemed to have agreed that Malta's stance should include not only the condemnation of all attacks but also the call for the unconditional immediate release of hostages.

After considering de Marco's comments, the committee also included a call for "a safe corridor" through Egypt for Gaza residents who wish or need to leave the country before they become victims of Israeli attacks.

The Foreign Affairs Minister also pointed out that as an elected member of the UN Security Committee, Malta swiftly called for an urgent meeting in response to the recent events.

He said that the meeting took place on Sunday, with the clear message of condemning the attacks and upholding the right to defend.

The minister also confirmed that several members of a UN peacekeeping mission have lost their lives in these attacks.

Borg disclosed that he has engaged in telephone conversations with both the Israeli and Palestinian foreign affairs ministers and had heard both sides of the story.

"The Palestinian minister acknowledged that Hamas is not the Palestinian Authority, and I conveyed Malta's profound concern regarding the abduction and killing of innocent individuals. I emphasised that when innocent lives, including those of children, are lost, no distinction should be made, as such actions are equally condemnable," Borg said.

Speaking of the decision of the European Union to stop all financial aid to Palestine, Borg clarified that the EU knows that collective punishment is not a viable solution to the ongoing conflict but is thinking of ways to help Palestinians financially without donations reaching Hamas