Premier Giorgia Meloni said Wednesday she did not agree with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s opposition to statehood for Palestinians. She also said Italy is take in Palestinian children for treatment.
“Italy has always been in favour of a Palestinian State, and that’s why I don’t agree with the position expressed by the Israeli prime minister on the matter,” she told Premier’s Question Time in the House.
But she stressed: “An agreement cannot be requested unilaterally: the premise is recognition by the interlocutors, of Israel and the right of the Israelis to live in security”.
Italy is working to bring Palestinian children to Italy for treatment, Premier Giorgia Meloni said Wednesday, adding, “We were the first to send aid to Gaza”.
Earlier this week, Tajani confirmed that Italy had already suspended sending arms to Israel.
Italy taking in Palestinian children
“I take this opportunity to announce that we are working to bring Palestinian children to Italy to be treated in our hospitals”, Meloni said during her first Premier’s Question Time at the Lower House.
The first 30 of 100 children from Gaza whom Italy has agreed to treat with their families are to arrive in an airlift from Egypt over the coming days, Defence Minister Guido Crosetto said earlier Wednesday.
Another 30 children and their carers will arrive in Italy at the end of January, on board the Navy’s Vulcano ship, which will shortly leave the port of Al-Arish, he added.
He said “the defence ministry announces with pleasure and a touch of pride the start of the operation.”
Crosetto said, “defence personnel are already at work, together with those of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and (Genoa’s) Gaslini (Paediatric) Hospital, to ensure the transfer.”
No need to vote on protecting Red Sea shipping
Parliament does not need to vote on the new European mission to protect Red Sea shipping Foreign Minister and Deputy Premier Antonio Tajani said on Wednesday. Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels are responsible for piratical attacks.
The mission has similar rules of engagement to the existing EU naval mission Atlanta against Somali pirates.
“Atalanta already has rules of engagement that allow weapons to be used to repel military attacks, and the new mission (in the Red Sea) has very similar rules of engagement,” said Tajani.
“On Tuesday I will be heard by the joint Foreign Affairs and Defence committees in parliament and my colleague (Defence Minister Guido) Crosetto and I are ready to report on everything. But I don’t think we need a parliamentary vote for this new mission because it is already operational,” he added.
On Monday, EU foreign affairs ministers gave their backing to the new mission proposed by Italy, France and Germany in the Red Sea.
“We have agreed, in principle, to start the EU mission in the Red Sea,” said European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell after the council meeting in Brussels.
“Now we have to work on unanimity as to when (it will start),” he added.
The details of the contributions from individual countries also need to be worked out.