Belgium’s deputy prime minister called on the Belgian government on Wednesday to adopt sanctions against Israel and investigate the bombings of hospitals and refugee camps in Gaza.
“It is time for sanctions against Israel. The rain of bombs is inhumane,” deputy prime minister Petra De Sutter told Nieuwsblad newspaper. “It is clear that Israel does not care about the international demands for a ceasefire,” she said.
Israel struck at Gaza in response to a Hamas raid on southern Israel on October 7 in which gunmen killed 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and took about 240 hostages, according to Israeli tallies. The war has descended into the bloodiest episode in the generations-long Israel-Palestinian conflict.
De Sutter said the European Union should immediately suspend its association agreement with Israel, which aims at better economic and political cooperation.
She also said an import ban on products from occupied Palestinian territories should be implemented and violent settlers, politicians, soldiers responsible for war crimes should be banned from entering the EU.
At the same time, she said, Belgium should increase funding for the International Criminal Court in The Hague to investigate the bombings while cutting money flows to Hamas.
“This is a terrorist organization. Terror costs money and there must be sanctions on the companies and people who provide Hamas with money,” De Sutter said.
With the war now entering its second month, UN officials and G7 nations stepped up appeals for a humanitarian pause in the hostilities to help alleviate the suffering in Gaza, where buildings have been flattened and basic supplies are running out. Palestinian officials say more than 10,000 people have been killed, 40 percent of them children.