Van Bommel urges protest against Israeli abuses of international law

30 June 2006

Van Bommel urges protest against Israeli abuses of international law

SP foreign affairs spokesman Harry van Bommel is urging the government to condemn in the strongest possible terms Israel's recent and ongoing actions against the Palestinians. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said this week: “The world has had enough of the Palestinians. Up to now we have reacted with restraint. That is now over.” According to the SP, Foreign Minister Ben Bot must make his strong disapproval of this statement clear.

Harry van BommelMr Van Bommel is asking the minister if he recognises that the Israeli bombing of the power station and bridges in the Gaza strip contradicts international law governing the conduct of war, and whether he intends to remain silent on this question. His official parliamentary question goes on to ask for Mr Bot's judgement in relation to the Israeli strategy of threatening the people of Gaza with the bombing of essential facilities as well as the use of low flying fighter jets which deliberately produce sonic booms. “Israel is using state terrorism and collective punishments of the population in response to a military action from Palestinian guerrillas,” Van Bommel said.“ This sort of practice must be sharply condemned.”

The Netherlands, the Member of Parliament added, must put pressure on the Israeli government to make good the damage to the power station as soon as is possible, preventing a situation in which the civilian population suffers long months without electricity of water supply.

Van Bommel also reminded the minister that the bombing of bridges and power stations is contrary to undertakings in the EU-Israel Association Agreement. “This must, of course, have consequences”, he said, “as must the arrest of Palestinian MPs and government ministers, a serious breach of international law.”

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