A four-day truce is an important first step in the Israel-Hamas conflict, but much more is needed to find a way out of the crisis, EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said on Monday.
Borrell said he regretted that Israel had not attended a Forum for the Union of the Mediterranean on Monday in Barcelona.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al Maliki and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah will address the meeting as representatives of a group of ministers from the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
Borrell said he hoped a four-day truce agreed last week would last “a few more days”.
The truce is the first halt in fighting in the seven weeks since Hamas attacked Israel, killing 1,200 people and taking about 240 hostages back into Gaza.
In response to that attack, Israel has bombarded the enclave and mounted a ground offensive in the north. Some 14,800 Palestinians have been killed, Gaza health authorities say, and hundreds of thousands displaced.
Borrell called for Israel not to “recolonize” Gaza, saying both Palestinians and Israelis had an “equal and legitimate right to the same land”.
A Palestinian state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza was the “best guarantee” for “Israel’s security and peace”, he added.