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Belgium deputy PM wants Israel sanctioned over Gaza war

Belgium deputy PM wants Israel sanctioned over Gaza war

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Petra De Sutter, Belgium’s deputy prime minister from the Greens, called on the country’s government to sanction Israel on Wednesday. “It is time for sanctions against Israel. The bombing is inhumane,” she posted on X, formerly Twitter. “While war crimes are being committed in Gaza, Israel ignores the international demand for a cease-fire.”

De Sutter called for an “immediate” suspension of the association agreement between the EU and Israel, and proposed that Belgium allocate extra funds for the International Criminal Court to investigate war crimes by Israel and Hamas, she said in a press release.

De Sutter also stressed people and companies who supply Hamas with money must be sanctioned, while violent settlers, politicians and military figures responsible for war crimes should face an entry ban.

“Israel’s bombing increases the Palestinians’ total hopelessness. Without a real solution, the violence will continue to repeat itself. That is why a political solution that recognizes Palestine as a state is necessary,” she noted.

De Sutter’s remarks come two days after Belgian PM Alexander De Croo called Israel’s actions in Gaza “no longer proportionate.”

Israel has launched ongoing retaliatory strikes in the Gaza Strip that have killed more than 10,500 Palestinians including thousands of children, according to Hamas-controled health authorities, in response to Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel.

Earlier this week, Belgian Environment Minister Zakia Khattabi, a member of the French-speaking Ecolo green party, came under fire for refusing to call Hamas a “terrorist organization,” even though that is the designation the EU has assigned to it.

Barbara Moens contributed reporting.

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