Winding up a two-day meeting in Tokyo, the Group of Seven wealthy nations said in a joint statement that Israel had the right to defend itself, while underscoring the need to protect civilians and to comply with international humanitarian law.
It was only the second joint statement from the G7 since
gunmen from the Palestinian militant group Hamas sparked the conflict with an Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel, killing 1,400 people and taking some 240 hostages.
The Israeli bombardment of Gaza has since killed more than 10,000 Palestinians, around 40% of them children, according to counts by health officials in the Hamas-ruled territory.
“I believe it’s important that the G7 was able to put out its first unified message as a statement… regarding a humanitarian pause and a future peace process, both in terms of the responsibility the G7 has towards the international community and for Japan as this year’s chair of the G7,” Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa told reporters.
The statement did not specify what that peace process was beyond stressing that a two-state solution “remains the only path to a just, lasting, and secure peace”.
The communique also reiterated G7 support for Ukraine in its war with Russia, highlighted the need for engagement with China over shared concerns, and condemned North Korea’s missile tests and arms transfers to Russia.
The G7 comprises Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States, with the European Union also taking part in the summit.
sraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel would consider “tactical little pauses” but, alongside its close ally the United States and other Western countries, has rejected calls for a ceasefire that it says would allow Hamas to regroup.
The G7 had appeared to struggle to agree on a firm, united approach to the war, raising questions over its relevance as a force to tackle major crises.
The only other G7 statement came after a meeting of its finance ministers on Oct. 12 and amounted to a few, brief sentences. Other group members have issued joint statements.
G7 divisions have also been evident at the United Nations, with France voting in favour of a resolution calling for a humanitarian truce in the conflict on Oct. 26, the U.S. opposing it and the group’s other members abstaining.
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