Home Society Belgian PM calls Israel’s actions in Gaza ‘no longer proportionate’
Belgian PM calls Israel’s actions in Gaza ‘no longer proportionate’

Belgian PM calls Israel’s actions in Gaza ‘no longer proportionate’

by host

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said on Monday that “what we have seen today in Gaza is no longer proportional,” slamming Israel’s recent strikes on refugee camps.

Since Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel — which killed 1,400 people — the country has launched ongoing retaliatory strikes in the densely populated Gaza Strip, killing more than 10,000 Palestinians including thousands of children, according to Hamas-controlled health authorities.

While De Croo said he has condemned Hamas’ attack and supported Israel’s right to defend itself, recent retaliatory attacks have been excessive.

“Bombing an entire refugee camp with the intention of taking out one terrorist, I don’t think you can say that is proportional,” De Croo said on Monday. “It is a bridge too far. And also unbridled violence in the West Bank, you have to be careful.”

Israeli airstrikes hit two refugee camps in the central Gaza Strip on Sunday. The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said at least 40 people died and dozens were wounded in the strike on the Al Maghazi camp.

De Croo said that while it is “perfectly logical” to “seek a solution” to Hamas, the question is “how the solution should be found,” according to Belgian news sites. He added that political dialogue is what will lead to a solution to the conflict.

On Monday, Belgian Environment Minister Zakia Khattabi, a member of the Ecolo green party, came under fire after refusing to call Hamas a “terrorist organization” in an interview with LN24. The U.S. and the EU have designated Hamas as a terrorist organization due to its armed resistance and violence against Israel, which occupies the Palestinian territories including Hamas-governed Gaza.

“Hamas is constantly carrying out attacks. But I don’t use the term ‘terrorist’ because it has a legal meaning that I don’t know,” she reportedly said.

The comments were strongly criticized across Belgium’s political parties. Michael Freilich, an MP for the Flemish nationalists, said they were “untenable, in violation of EU regulations, and also dangerous.”

Georges-Louis Bouchez, head of the Francophone liberal MR party, said Khattabi’s words cast doubt on Belgium’s position, and called for De Croo to intervene.

After the backlash, Khattabi said on X, formerly Twitter, that she “unequivocally condemned the acts of 7/10 as a terrorist attack” and that she “was not sure of the legal classification” when she made the comments.

Camille Gijs contributed reporting 

Source link

You may also like