Defense Minister Guido Crosetto met with Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz

(To Ministry of Defense)

Defense Minister Guido Crosetto met with Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz today in Rome, at the headquarters of the Italian Ministry of Defense.

At the end of the meeting, Minister Crosetto underlined that: "Italy is a friend of Israel; it was so when it suffered the barbaric terrorist attack by Hamas and it is so in this moment of difficulty, characterized by a worrying international crisis and the growing instability of the Middle Eastern area. Today I I expressed my friendship to Minister Katz, but also my concerns about the evolution of the conflict in Gaza. I also reiterated to him that peace is based on respect for the rules and international and humanitarian law: rules that apply to everyone. The war must 'be left to the armies and fighting forces and not fall on the civilian population, especially children and the most exposed and defenseless people. The only lasting peace is that which sees the conditions of legality restored and fundamental rights respected; that where the two peoples and the two states can coexist with dignity and mutual respect.In a moment of such strong military conflict and tension throughout the area, a truce would therefore be an important step, in everyone's interest, to protect the population. With similar firmness I also clarified that to achieve a truce and then peace, it is necessary that all Israeli civilians held hostage since October 7 are freed as soon as possible. At the same time, Italy is actively working towards a solution to the conflict and to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian civilian population. We immediately used our Armed Forces to help the population".

Minister Crosetto then continued: “On the northern front, on the border with Lebanon, I expressed Italy's great concern for the possible involvement of a country, already severely tested. We are one of the main contributors to the UNIFIL Mission, which works to prevent the confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah from becoming a conflict, which would have disastrous consequences for the population and risk destabilizing the entire Middle East. This is why I asked Minister Katz to "manage" the provocations and avoid strategies that could lead to a dangerous escalation.".

Italy was among the first states to bring aid to the civilian population of the Gaza Strip: a ship was sent first Volcano as a hospital ship to provide aid to the sick and injured, subsequently 3 humanitarian flights were carried out to transport Palestinian minors in need of treatment to Italian pediatric hospitals. In this context, the "Levante" operation was approved by Parliament which, by involving the use of the Armed Forces for humanitarian interventions, will serve to provide security and offer a window of opportunity for diplomacy and peace.