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Belgium to lead re-evaluation of EU-Israel Association Agreement

April 19, 2024 at 5:42 pm

Belgium’s Vice-prime minister and minister of Civil Services and State-owned companies Petra De Sutter at the Federal Parliament in Brussels on 30 November 2023 [ERIC LALMAND/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images]

Belgium will lead the re-evaluation of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, which forms the legal basis governing the EU’s trade relations with Israel, Anadolu Agency reports.

“Decided: Belgium will take the lead at the EU level to re-evaluate our Association Agreement with Israel,” Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister, Petra De Sutter, said regarding the deal which came into force in 2000.

“We will co-sponsor a UN resolution in favour of full Palestinian UN membership,” Sutter said, adding: “And we call for an EU-wide import duty on products coming from illegal Israeli settlements.”

Tensions have been high across the Occupied West Bank since Israel launched a deadly military offensive against the Gaza Strip, which has killed nearly 34,000 victims following a Hamas attack on 7 October.

At least 468 Palestinians have since been killed and more than 4,800 injured by Israeli army fire in the Occupied Territory, according to the Ministry of Health.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which, in January, issued an interim ruling that ordered it to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

READ: Ireland, Spain call on EU to impose economic penalties on Israel if it’s violating human rights