The Brussels city council approved a motion on Monday evening calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. The council condemned both the “terrorist attacks committed by Hamas” and Israel’s “disproportionate bombings”. There were demonstrations against the war in Gaza in Brussels Central station on Monday evening.
The city council “condemns in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks committed by Hamas and equally strongly condemns the bloody, devastating and totally disproportionate bombing of civilians under blockade in the Gaza Strip,” the motion proposed by the Brussels city council reads.
The City of Brussels points to the “illegal siege of Gaza and the displacement of the population, which are contrary to international law.” In addition, she points to the illegal colonization policy that is “ruthlessly implemented by the Netanyahu government.” The city council calls for an immediate ceasefire, the release of all hostages, the provision of humanitarian aid to the victims and the start of a new peace process between Israel and Palestine.
There were also demonstrations against the war in Gaza in Brussels Central station on Monday evening. It involved a sit-in in the station hall. The demonstrators waved Palestinian flags and hung a banner. They chanted slogans such as ‘Free Palestine’. According to the police of the Brussels Capital Ixelles zone – who intervened because the demonstration was not allowed – around fifty participants took part in the action.
‘Our country chooses an end to violence’
Earlier on Monday, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (Open VLD) lashed out at the situation in the Gaza Strip during his intervention at the diplomatic contact days in Brussels. “What is happening in Gaza today is no longer proportionate,” the prime minister said. “If one bombs an entire refugee camp with the intention of eliminating one terrorist, I don’t think that is proportionate anymore,” he said. “Something like that is a bridge too far.”
De Croo stressed that the Belgian government immediately condemned Hamas’s attack and recognized that Israel has the right to protect its people and avoid future attacks. De Croo pointed out that the psychological impact of the attacks on the Israeli population can hardly be overestimated.
According to the prime minister, it is “completely logical” that “a solution” is sought for Hamas, the Palestinian organization “that poses a daily threat to the Israeli population, with Gaza as its starting point.” “The question is how the solution should be found,” he says.
At the same time, according to De Croo, the decades-long struggle of the Palestinians for self-determination should not be underestimated. Ultimately, a political dialogue should lead to a solution to the conflict, said the prime minister, who again called for a pause in the fighting and the release of hostages in the Gaza Strip. “Our country does not choose a side. What we do choose is the end of violence and thousands of civilian victims.”