President Pavel assures Israel of continued support in war against Hamas

Petr Pavel and Benjamin Netanyahu

On a two-day visit to Israel, Czech President Petr Pavel assured the country’s top officials of Czechia’s continued support in the war against Hamas. At the same time, he expressed concern for the fate of civilians on both sides of the conflict. 

Petr Pavel and Isaac Herzog | Photo: Zuzana Bönisch,  Office of the President

During talks with the country’s top officials on Monday, President Pavel said Czechia fully respects Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorism and protect its citizens, stressing that amid growing anti-Semitism in the world, it is important to keep in mind who started the bloodshed and who is the victim.

“It is fair to remind, not only ourselves, but the whole world who was the victim on October 7th, how it all started and not to get distracted by false narratives.”

President Pavel said that Hamas is acting like a terrorist organisation with no concern for the fate of Palestinians, which it is using as human shields, and it should therefore not be considered as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. With this in mind, he said, Czechia fully supports Israel’s war against Hamas and is ready to contribute to the process of finding a peaceful solution in the Middle East once Hamas is defeated.

Petr Pavel and Benny Gantz | Photo: Zuzana Bönisch,  Office of the President

At the same time, the Czech president expressed concern for the fate of civilians and hostages on both sides of the conflict.

“We are concerned about the civilian casualties, because civilians on both sides have the same right to be protected.”

He welcomed the fact that Israel has increased the humanitarian aid delivered to the Palestinian population from 100 to 250 trucks a day and announced that Czechia has allocated CZK 5 million in  humanitarian aid for Palestinian civilians through the World Food Program and CZK 5 million for Israeli health organizations.

President Herzog thanked Pavel for his support and also welcomed the joint statement by Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, opposing any attempt to politicize the International Court of Justice in The Hague which is now hearing a complaint from South Africa alleging that Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli president said it was important to understand the threat that Hamas presents to the world at large.

“If we were not here, Europe would be next. We are defending Europe and we are defending the rest of the world and that is why the world has to support us in our battle. “

The Czech head of state also met for talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who briefed Pavel on developments in the war against Hamas and thanked him for the “unreserved support of the Czech government and the Czech people for the State of Israel”.

The two leaders also discussed strengthening cooperation in the fields of security, energy, agriculture and innovation.

Petr Pavel and Benjamin Netanyahu | Photo: Zuzana Bönisch,  Office of the President

According to the Czech head of state, the Israeli leadership is not united on the issue of a two-state solution to the conflict in the Middle East and the possible creation of an independent Palestine. Pavel said he agreed with Herzog that the path to some form of Palestinian statehood would present  a long-term solution, but noted that Prime Minister Netanyahu is not convinced this would solve the problem.

As an alternate option, the Czech president mentioned the possible creation of a regional coalition backed by Arab states to ensure the long-term governance of the Gaza Strip which would last until the Palestinians themselves have the capacity to administer it on their own.

On Wednesday President Pavel is due to hold talks in Qatar, which will also address the crisis in the Middle East.

Author: Daniela Lazarová | Sources: Český rozhlas , Česká televize
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