Van Bommel: Put more pressure on Israel and Palestine to agree cease-fire

10 July 2014

Van Bommel: Put more pressure on Israel and Palestine to agree cease-fire

SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel is questioning Israel’s military reaction to the death of three Israeli teenagers and is also critical of the rocket attacks launched from Gaza. Van Bommel condemns the Palestinian attacks but does not accept that the Israeli reaction is in proportion. He is in addition concerned about Israel’s announcement of an incursion into the Gaza Strip. He has put a written question to Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans, asking him to exert more pressure on both parties via the EU to impose a cease-fire.

According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) which supplies humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip, twenty-four Palestinians have died in the Israeli attack, while 180 have been wounded and thirty- seven houses destroyed. ‘It’s difficult to accept that this reaction is proportionate,’ says Van Bommel. ‘Looking at it in the framework of the right to self-defence, it’s also doubtful whether these actions are effective.’

Van Bommel is most concerned about the announcement by the Israeli information minister that ‘Gaza must be taken over.’ According to the SP foreign affairs spokesman, ‘this points to the fact that not only is a ground offensive being planned, but that it will actually be carried out. This would be a collective punishment, as defined in the Fourth Geneva Convention.’ Van Bommel has asked the Foreign Minister to put pressure on both sides, via the European Union, to agree an immediate cease-fire. ‘Given the EU’s major political and financial involvement with both parties,’ he says, ‘we also have a right to speak.’



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