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Belgium calls for sanctions against Israel if it annexes West Bank

Palestinians gather to stage a protest against Jewish settlements and Israel's annexation plan of Jordan Valley in Jericho, West Bank on 22 June 2020. [Issam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency]
Palestinians gather to stage a protest against Israeli settlements and Israel's annexation plan of Jordan Valley in the West Bank on 22 June 2020 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

The Belgian parliament today passed a resolution urging the government to call on the European Union to impose sanctions against Israel if it proceeds with its plan to annex large swaths of the occupied West Bank.

The measure “concerning Israel’s annexation of occupied territories in Palestine”, passed in the 150-member House of Representatives with 101 affirmative votes, 39 abstentions and zero votes against it.

The body was also due to vote on a motion calling for the recognition of a Palestinian state but this was delayed after it was sent back to the foreign affairs committee for further debate.

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

READ: Over 1,000 lawmakers sign letter opposing Israel’s annexation plan 

“It is a matter of defending international law. There is no equidistance to be respected in this fight,” said MP Ecolo Simon Moutquin who authored the resolution.

The resolution has two objectives, he said: “On the one hand, send a message to the Israeli government ‘Don’t cross that red line’. On the other hand, give some hope to the Palestinians who have suffered injustice for decades.”

More than 1,000 European lawmakers across the political spectrum issued a letter earlier this week warning Israel against annexing parts of the occupied West Bank.

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

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BelgiumEUEurope & RussiaInternational OrganisationsIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestine
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