SP Senator Tiny Kox urges Netherlands to aid Palestine’s legal case against Israel

5 August 2014

SP Senator Tiny Kox urges Netherlands to aid Palestine’s legal case against Israel

The Palestinian government is to ask the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague to look into the question of whether Israel is guilty of war crimes in Gaza. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Al Malki was in the Netherlands today for a meeting with the ICJ on the matter. He also spoke with his Dutch counterpart Frans Timmermans and a delegation of MPs and Senators.

Those present included SP Senator Tiny Kox, who expressed the opinion that justice must be done in the wake of all of the horrors in Gaza. ‘The United Nations Human Rights Commissioner agrees that an investigation is needed,’ he noted, ‘numerous human rights groups have been shocked by the nature and extent of the Israeli military violence and Minister Timmermans has stated that Israel’s warlike violence is unacceptable. I hope that Palestine will now have a real chance to summons Israel before the ICJ. More than 1800 dead, most of them civilians, and their families and friends certainly deserve that much.’

The nature and extent of Israel’s military operation against has provoked horror across the world. In the Netherlands as elsewhere it has been met with enormous outrage at the bombing and reduction to rubble of houses, schools, hospitals and buildings providing essential services. The SP has therefore asked Minister Timmermans to summon the Israeli ambassador, which has so far not happened. ‘Bit in our opinion it must indeed happen,’ insists Senator Kox. ‘The Netherlands has today promised Minister Al Malki extensive emergency aid for Gaza, everything and more that’s urgently needed, the minister told us in the meeting with MPs.’ Referring to the Netherlands’ two major centre-right parties, the VVD, which is in coalition government with Timmermans’ PvdA (Labour Party), and the opposition CDA, Kox says that an MP from each had joined him in a meeting at the Palestinian embassy. Minister Al Malki ‘hopes that the Netherlands will be able to persuade Israel to allow emergency aid rapidly into Gaza. Helping Gaza’s people is the priority and can count on our warm support. But this time those who have caused the disaster must not get away with it. That’s also a priority.’

Minister Al Malki informed the MPs that he was not satisfied that Israel would give his government the chance to begin to coordinate aid for Gaza and the reconstruction of the wrecked Palestinian territory. ‘In recent times Israel has done everything it could to undermine the position of the Palestinian government,’ he said. ‘In whose interests that is, nobody can understand. That’s why it’s also important for the Netherlands and the European Union to put more pressure on Israel. The EU is Israel’s foremost trading partner. And the Americans have demonstrated that they can’t provide a solution. Their interventions over the last year have turned out a fiasco. As the Palestinian government we have said repeatedly that the European Union must not only give money to Palestine and Israel but also help to bring about a just and durable solution, under which two states can live side by side.’

In Senator Kox’s view, the Netherlands must also support Palestine when it comes to membership of the International Court of Justice. ‘Now that Palestine is recognised as an observer state at the United Nations,’ he points out, ‘the country qualifies for participation in the ICJ. Membership is necessary in order for Palestine to be able to summons Israel before the Court, with the aim of establishing whether war crimes have been committed in Gaza.’

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