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Israel slams Belgian parliament for not showing Hamas attack video

Israel slams Belgian parliament for not showing Hamas attack video

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Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen on Wednesday lambasted Belgium’s Chamber of Representatives for refusing to screen footage of Hamas’ violent attack on Israel, accusing the chamber’s president of “turning a blind eye” to the militant groups’s crimes.

“In your decision not to screen in parliament the video depicting the atrocities, the President of the Parliament of Belgium [Eliane Tillieux] is turning a blind eye to the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Hamas,” Cohen wrote on X.

Over the past month, a 45-minute video of Hamas’ October 7 attack, which killed 1,200 people, has been played to selected groups of journalists and politicians around the world, including in Brussels. The video, distributed by Israeli officials, reportedly includes gruesome unreleased body-cam footage taken from Hamas militants, clips from security cameras and social media posts shot on the day of the attack.

On Tuesday, Israeli Ambassador to Belgium Idit Rosenzweig-Abu said on social media she had requested Belgian Chamber of Representatives President Eliane Tillieux’s permission to screen the footage in the Belgian parliament “more than a week ago,” but received no reply.

Tillieux replied that she had submitted the request to the chamber’s Conference of Presidents, which on Tuesday “did not reach a consensus regarding the screening of the film.” Rosenzweig-Abu said in response that she was “exploring other alternatives.

Cohen on Wednesday said the footage is “not a propaganda video, rather it is a film created from footage shot by the terrorists themselves, that shows their indiscriminate slaughter of Israeli civilians.”

“Turning a blind eye to Hamas’ crimes is tantamount to disregarding Israel’s right to defend itself against a terrorist organization that is worse than ISIS,” he said. “Hamas is guilty of instigating the war, in which the State of Israel is defending its citizens and is standing at the forefront of the Western world in the face of murderous terrorism.”

Georges-Louis Bouchez, head of the Francophone liberal MR party, called the chamber’s decision “incomprehensible and undignified,” saying that his party is organizing a screening of the footage for next week, open to all parliamentarians.

Belgian officials have increasingly been questioning Israel’s retaliation in Gaza, which to date has killed more than 11,000 people according to the enclave’s Hamas-controlled health ministry. Last week, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo called the retaliation “no longer proportional.”

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