G7 backs 'humanitarian pauses' in Gaza, reaffirms Ukraine support

G7 backs 'humanitarian pauses' in Gaza, reaffirms Ukraine support
The G7 stopped short of calling for a ceasefire for the bombed-out Gaza Strip, instead expressing support for 'humanitarian pauses and corridors'.
3 min read
08 November, 2023
G7 leaders met in Tokyo to discuss Gaza as well as continued support for Ukraine [TOMOHIRO OHSUMI/POOL/AFP via Getty]

G7 foreign ministers said on Wednesday that they supported "humanitarian pauses and corridors" for Gaza, but refrained from calling for a ceasefire for the Palestinian territory as it suffers an Israeli onslaught.

The group also said after talks in Japan that their support for Ukraine in its war with Russia "will never waver" while calling on China not to support Moscow in the conflict.

"We stress the need for urgent action to address the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Gaza... We support humanitarian pauses and corridors to facilitate urgently needed assistance, civilian movement, and the release of hostages," a joint statement said.

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The ministers also "emphasize Israel's right to defend itself and its people in accordance with international law as it seeks to prevent a recurrence" of the unprecedented Hamas attacks on Israel on 7 October.

It added: "We call on Iran to refrain from providing support for Hamas and taking further actions that destabilize the Middle East, including support for Lebanese Hezbollah and other non-state actors, and to use its influence with those groups to de-escalate regional tensions."

'Overall security'

The Israeli military has relentlessly bombarded Gaza since 7 October, when Hamas militants launched an attack that left 1,400 dead in Israel and took more than 240 hostages, according to Israeli authorities.

The Gaza health ministry said Wednesday that the death toll in Gaza has surpassed 10,569 people, including 4,324 children and 26,475 people injured. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday there would be no fuel delivered to Gaza and no ceasefire unless the hostages were freed.

He also said Israel would assume "overall security" in Gaza after the war ended, while allowing for possible "tactical pauses" before then to free captives and deliver aid to the besieged territory.

Washington said Tuesday it opposed a new long-term occupation of Gaza by Israel, a stance reiterated by Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Tokyo.

Key elements for lasting peace and security should also include no forcible displacement of Palestinians from Gaza and not using Gaza as a platform for "terrorism or other violent attacks," Blinken told reporters on Wednesday before departing for South Korea.

Ukraine fatigue

On the Ukraine war, the G7 statement said: "Our steadfast commitment to supporting Ukraine's fight for its independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity will never waver."

"We further call on China not to assist Russia in its war against Ukraine, to press Russia to stop its military aggression, and to support a just and lasting peace in Ukraine," it said.

The ministers from the G7 - the United States, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Britain and Canada - also said they "welcome China's participation in the Ukraine-led peace process."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed what he called a "strong statement" by the group and for its "unwavering support," after his Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba had joined the meeting by video conference.


With Ukraine's counteroffensive struggling to gain ground after almost two years of war, Zelensky has regularly met Western leaders to try to stave off fatigue over the conflict.

"It is clear, particularly at this moment, that around the world some [parties] are watching very closely how we will continue to support Ukraine," German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said earlier.

Her French counterpart Catherine Colonna said it was "important to remember that the situation in the Middle East in no way distracts us from what is happening in Ukraine."