Leader of Tunisia’s Ennahda Movement, Rachid Ghannouchi said yesterday that his country leads mediation efforts along with Turkey, Qatar and France to stop the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip at a time when the Egyptian regime has become unfit for this role.
On Monday, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry proposed a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas starting from yesterday morning which was accepted by Israel and rejected by Hamas. However, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, Mousa Abu-Marzouk said, via Twitter, after Israel’s acceptance of the Egyptian initiative “We are still consulting. The movement did not issue its official position on the Egyptian initiative.”
Meanwhile, a leader of the Islamic Jihad movement, Khaled Al-Batsh said that his movement received the initiative and was studying it and will respond to it in coordination with Hamas.
The Israeli army launch what it has dubbed “Operation Protective Edge” 10 days ago. The offensive against Gaza resulted in the killing of over 200 Palestinians and injuring nearly 1,400 others.
Ghannouchi said: “The primary issue today is the Palestinian issue” adding that “all Tunisians support Palestinian rights and condemn the aggression on Gaza.”
He expressed his movement’s absolute support for all Palestinian liberation movements saying: “We stand with Palestinian unity which is a prerequisite to liberate Palestine.”
Responding to criticism following his movement’s participation in the French National Day at the French embassy in Tunis, he said: “The movement is keen to develop this relationship while maintaining diplomatic independence and national sovereignty.
“Although the French President Francois Hollande took an inconvenient position at the beginning of the aggression on Gaza, but his position evolved after the Tunisian President Mohamed Moncef Marzouki contacted him.”
While marking the French National Day on Monday, Hollande said: “France does not align with any party in relation to the events in Gaza, but is biased to achieving peace”.
On Sunday, Hollande and Marzouki agreed to combine their efforts to mediate a ceasefire agreement between Israel and the Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip.
The French presidency said earlier in a statement that “President Hollande held telephone consultations with his Tunisian counterpart, Moncef Marzouki and discussed the grave situation in Gaza.”