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Palestinian and Italian prime ministers discuss efforts for cease-fire in Gaza

May 25, 2024 at 5:10 pm

Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni (R) welcomes her Palestinian counterpart Mohammed Mustafa prior to their meeting at Palazzo Chigi in Rome on May 25 2024. [Photo by FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images]

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa and his Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni met in Rome on Saturday and discussed efforts for a cease-fire in Gaza, where Israel has continued its offensive for more than seven months, killing nearly 36,000 people and creating a humanitarian catastrophe, Anadolu Agency reports.

Mustafa updated Meloni on the latest developments in Palestine and the blockaded enclave, his office said.

He also touched on Israeli violations in the West Bank, settler violence and the unprecedented increase in settlement activities that threaten the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

“The current priority is to stop the genocidal war in Gaza, restore essential services to meet the humanitarian needs of the enclave’s residents, and release withheld funds,” the Palestinian premier said.

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The Palestinian prime minister urged Italy to “recognize the state of Palestine, following the example of 147 countries that have already recognized Palestine, the most recent being Spain, Norway, and Ireland.”

Last week, Spain, Norway, and Ireland announced they will recognize Palestine as a state from May 28.

Meloni in a statement on X said she said confirmed Italian support for all the efforts underway for a sustainable cease-fire, more humanitarian aid for the people in Gaza, and the need to restart a political process that leads to a lasting peace based on the two-state solution.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which has mandated Tel Aviv to prevent its forces from committing such acts, and ensure humanitarian aid reaches civilians in Gaza.

The UN court on Friday ordered Israel to halt its offensive in the southern city of Rafah, keep the Rafah border crossing open, and allow investigators access to the territory.

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