In an interview with the Flemish newspaper Het Nieuwsblad on Nov. 8, De Sutter said the European Union (EU) must take immediate action. "We cannot look away while children are killed every day in Gaza. It is time for sanctions against Israel," she said. "The rain of bombs is inhumane. It is clear that Israel does not care about the international demands for a ceasefire."
The high-ranking Belgian official's call for sanctions comes as the current conflict in Gaza takes the lives of over 11,000 Palestinians. Her primary demand is for the EU to immediately suspend its association agreement with Israel, an agreement which improves economic and political cooperation between it and the bloc.
Along with sanctions, De Sutter has demanded that Belgium and the EU impose a total import ban on products made by Israeli settlers in the occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank and known violent settlers, racist politicians and members of the Israel Defense Forces known to have committed war crimes should be banned from entering the bloc.
De Sutter also wants the International Criminal Court to conduct an investigation into the deliberate bombing of Gazan hospitals and refugee camps under the claims that they contain Hamas command centers. Furthermore, De Sutter called for additional funding to be assigned to the court to be able to conduct these investigations and subsequent trials. (Related: Israel lays siege to Gaza’s largest hospital, claims it houses Hamas' HQ.)
Finally, De Sutter noted her desire for Hamas to be cut off from all funding, calling the group a "terrorist organization" which also needs sanctions placed against it and on the companies and people who serve as Hamas' financial backers.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has similarly condemned Israel's indiscriminate bombing of refugee camps, warning that the situation in Gaza is "going too far."
"If you bomb an entire refugee camp with the intention of eliminating a terrorist, I don't think that's proportionate," said De Croo, referring to the recent bombing of the Maghazi refugee camp that killed over 40 civilians. "This is going too far."
De Croo stressed that the decades-long struggle for Palestinian self-determination should not be forgotten, and that the only way for a long-term solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict is through political dialogue.
On Hamas, De Croo said that the psychological impact of Hamas' initial assault on the Israeli population, which killed over 1,200 civilians in southern Israel, should similarly not be underestimated, and that a "logical" solution to the Hamas problem that does not involve wiping out civilians should be found.
De Croo reiterated his call for a ceasefire, for the release of the remaining hostages held by Hamas and for Belgium to not take sides in the conflict but continue to advocate for an immediate end to the violence.
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Watch the video below about the Belgian Deputy Prime Minister calling for sanctions against Israel.
This video is from the Vigilent Citizen channel on Brighteon.com.