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The Brazilian Government has followed with deep concern the escalating violence between Israel and Palestine and expresses its sympathy to the injured and the families of the victims in Palestine and Israel.

The Brazilian Government vehemently condemns the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, with disproportionate use of force, which resulted in more than 230 Palestinians dead, many of them unarmed civilians and children. It equally condemns the firing of rockets and mortars from Gaza into Israel.

The Brazilian Government rejects the current Israeli ground incursion into Gaza, which began on the night of July 17, which represents a serious setback to peace efforts. Such an offensive could have serious repercussions for the increased instability in the Middle East and exacerbate the already dramatic humanitarian situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. We urge the Israeli forces to strictly respect their obligations under the International Humanitarian Law. Furthermore, we consider it necessary that Israel put an end to the blockade of Gaza immediately.

The Brazilian Government calls on both parties to establish a permanent ceasefire and promptly join the efforts of the Government of Egypt and the United Nations on this matter. It reiterates that the two-state solution, Israel and Palestine, requires the parties to respect their obligations under international law and resume the peace talks to end the conflict without delay.

In view of the escalating tensions of recent weeks between the Israeli and Palestinian sides, the Brazilian government has mobilized its diplomatic missions in the region to enable, expeditiously, the removal of Brazilian citizens and their close relatives living in the Gaza Strip. Under these preventive actions, 12 Brazilian passport holders were evacuated until July 17.

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