'Halt talks on a Netherlands-Israel cooperation council’

29 September 2011

'Halt talks on a Netherlands-Israel cooperation council’

Harry van Bommel has asked Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal to put pressure on Israel to reverse its government’s decision to give its permission for the construction of 1,100 dwellings in the Jewish settlement of Gilo on the occupied West Bank. Van Bommel: 'Israel’s decision demonstrates that the Netanyahu government isn’t interested in ending the occupation of the West Bank. We’ve heard talk of negotiations before. This sort of behaviour shouldn’t be rewarded, so the Netherlands must halt discussion of a new Netherlands-Israel cooperation council.

The Dutch government wants to hold the first meeting of the Netherlands-Israel Cooperation Council early in 2012. The council will mean exclusive cooperation directed at improvements in innovation and trade. Meanwhile, the West Bank is being more and more built over with Jewish settlements, while at the same time hundreds of Palestinian homes have been demolished in places into which |Israel wants to expand.

The Netanyahu government’s decision makes urgently needed new negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians extremely difficult. “An unambiguous signal from the Netherlands is what’s necessary,” says Van Bommel. “That’s why Israel must be put under pressure. Halt the negotiations on a bilateral agreement between the Netherlands and Israel.”

You are here