Norwegian foreign minister Espen Barth Eide said despite Norway’s supporting Israel’s right to self-defense, Norway believes Israel may have broken international law in the ongoing war in the Middle East, killing thousands of Palestinians in Gaza.
“What we’re seeing in Gaza is a terribly dramatic humanitarian situation,” he said on Tuesday, 31 October 2023 in the United Arab Emirates. He highlighted that during the chaotic period, humanitarian law still is essential and must be adhered to.
“We believe that there have been cases where this proportionality and this distinction have not been fully respected,” Barth Eide said.
According to Reuters, more than 8,000 people have been killed in the Israeli bombardments in Gaza, reported Palestinian Health Officials. International calls for a temporary pause in the fighting to allow more humanitarian aid to reach the Palestinians in Gaza has been rejected by Israel.
Norway has condemned the attacks of Israel by Hamas, which happened in the beginning of October. At present, there are still civilians including international citizens from countries like Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia, Ireland, and more being held hostage, missing, or killed.
Thai PBS World reported an update on Wednesday, 1 November 2023 that the total of 22 Thai hostages holds the possibility to be the first group released by Hamas, according to Thailand’s Foreign Ministry.
In Oslo, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said it was crucial to get relief to civilians in Gaza as soon as possible.
Currently, there are about 200 Norwegian citizens are estimated to be stuck in Gaza and unable to leave due to the blockade by Israel.
Foreign minister Barth Eide said that this is the time for coming up with “political solutions” to the unrest. He added that in the Oslo Accords, two-state solution envisaged was the only solution.