Israeli invasion of Gaza strip: 'Parliament must be recalled from recess’

3 January 2009

Israeli invasion of Gaza strip: 'Parliament must be recalled from recess’

SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel has formally proposed that the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs be recalled from recess in order to meet with Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen to discuss the Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip. The move has already attracted the support of two small opposition groups, the Green Left and the centrist D66. “The Netherlands must condemn this invasion,” Van Bommel says, “and should refuse to support moves to strengthen EU-Israeli relations, as proposed by the European Commission. This would be sending the wrong message.”

Gaza Strip

This evening Israeli ground troops were deployed within the Gaza Strip. The SP fears that this will have an escalating effect on the situation and is urging the Dutch government to condemn the invasion. “The Netherlands and the EU must take a more active stance and call for a halt to the spiral of violence. We have to do more than look dismayed and express our regrets. We must at the very least try to bring Hamas and Israel to a point where they put a stop to the bloodshed. Further civilian deaths must be prevented. Negotiations must be established between the warring parties, and the Netherlands and the EU could possibly play a mediating role in this. But doing nothing in the face of what the UN has described as a catastrophic situation is clearly not an option.”

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