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Belgium votes on recognising State of Palestine, imposing sanctions on Israel

June 25, 2020 at 6:02 pm

This photo shows a general view of the chambers with almost every chamber member present during the plenary session at the federal parliament, in Brussels, on April 29, 2010. [JOHN THYS/AFP via Getty Images]

The Belgian Chamber of Representatives will today be voting on whether to “formally recognise the State of Palestine.”

The resolution, said Socialist MP Malik Ban Achour, urges the federal government “to formally recognise the State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel and to consider this recognition as a contribution by Belgium to the solution based on the coexistence of two democratic and independent states having the right to live in peace and security with mutually recognized, accepted and respected borders. ”

The 150-member House of Representatives will also debate a second resolution calling for the government to prepare a list of ‘’counter-measures’’ to be implemented if the Israeli annexation plan goes ahead on 1 July.

MPs from left-wing parties, including the Socialist Party and members of the French and Green parties, proposed the resolutions.

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Earlier this week, more than 1,000 members of parliament from across Europe signed a letter warning Israel against annexing parts of the occupied West Bank.

The legislators said they “share serious concerns about President Trump’s plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the imminent prospect of Israeli annexation of West Bank territory.”

According to private daily Al-Bawaba, the resolution supporting EU punitive measures against Israel passed in a committee earlier this month with an easy majority and is likely to pass in the plenary.

However, the measure to recognise a Palestinian state passed by one vote in the Foreign Affairs Committee and is considered less likely to be approved by the plenary.

Sweden became the first EU member to officially recognise Palestine in 2014, though other parliaments have since called on their governments to do so.

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