Brussels – 18 January 2024 – The AJC Transatlantic Institute welcomes today’s European Parliament Resolution conditioning its call for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza on dismantling Hamas and the release of all remaining hostages. The text also condemned Hamas’ brutal attack and hostage taking, Hezbollah’s rocket strikes against Israel, and Iranian and Qatari support for both terror organizations.
“By making clear that a ceasefire can only be reached when Hamas is defeated and all 132 remaining hostages are released, the European Parliament is standing with Israel and backing its right to self defense against this existential threat,” said Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the the American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) Brussels-based EU Office, the AJC Transatlantic Institute.
“As Israel’s youngest hostage, baby Kfir Bibas, still remains in captivity on his first birthday while global attention is shifting from the October 7 massacre, it is crucial that the European Parliament reminded the world that the hostages must not be forgotten and Hamas must be dismantled,” Schwammenthal added. “Any attempt to bring about a ceasefire before these goals are achieved would leave Hamas in power to recoup and break this ceasefire at a time of its choosing--just as it did on October 7. Such an outcome would condemn Palestinians and Israelis to eternal conflict and make a two-state solution impossible,” Schwammenthal continued.
The European Parliament’s January 2024 resolution follows a prior resolution in October 2023 in which the Parliament backed Israel’s right to self-defense and called for the elimination of the terror group Hamas. On January 16, the European Council also put the mastermind behind the October 7 massacre, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, on its terror list.
The terror attack on October 7 was the worst attack in Israel’s history. Over 1100 Israelis were killed and a further 250 kidnapped by Hamas. In November 2023, 105 hostages were released in an exchange deal. 132 hostages remain in Hamas captivity. An unknown number of hostages has been murdered by Hamas while in captivity.