Top diplomats from the Group of Seven leading industrial democracies announced a unified stance on the Israel-Hamas war on Wednesday after intensive meetings in Tokyo, condemning Hamas, supporting Israel’s right to self-defence and calling for “humanitarian pauses” to speed aid to desperate civilians in the Gaza Strip.
In a statement following two days of talks, the nations sought to balance unequivocal criticism of Hamas’ attacks against Israel and “the need for urgent action” to help civilians in the besieged Palestinian enclave.
“All parties must allow unimpeded humanitarian support for civilians, including food, water, medical care, fuel and shelter, and access for humanitarian workers,” said the statement, hammered out by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and foreign ministers from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and Italy. “We support humanitarian pauses and corridors to facilitate urgently needed assistance, civilian movement and the release of hostages.”
The G7 meeting was, in part, an attempt to contain the worsening humanitarian crisis while also keeping broader differences on Gaza from deepening. It came “at a very intense time for our countries and for the world,” Blinken said in remarks to reporters, adding that “G7 unity is stronger and more important than ever.”