Deputy Prime Minister’s Request
Belgium’s deputy Prime Minister, Petra De Sutter, has suggested sanctions against Israel amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza. In a recent interview with a local media outlet, De Sutter expressed her deep concern over the relentless airstrikes in the region, describing them as inhumane.
She asserted that the situation is indicative of Israel’s disregard for the international community’s calls for a ceasefire. However, it is worth noting that the conflict was triggered by a Hamas raid on southern Israel in early October.
According to Israeli reports, this attack led to the deaths of around 1,400 individuals and the capture of nearly 240 hostages. The ensuing conflict has escalated into one of the most devastating episodes in the long-standing Israel-Palestinian dispute.
De Sutter’s Key Suggestions
De Sutter wants the immediate suspension of the European Union’s association agreement with Israel, designed to facilitate closer economic and political cooperation. Furthermore, she advocated for an import ban on products originating from the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Additionally, De Sutter urged for stringent measures against settlers, politicians, and soldiers found guilty of war crimes, including their exclusion from the European Union. Furthermore, De Sutter emphasized the need for Belgium to allocate increased funding to the International Criminal Court based in The Hague.
This move is seen as crucial for launching thorough investigations into the bombings. Meanwhile, Palestinian officials have reported that over 10,000 lives have been lost during this war, with a significant portion of them being children.
This conflict has further highlighted the urgent need for a diplomatic resolution and sustainable peace in the region.
Humanitarian Toll And Infrastructure Damage
The ongoing conflict in Gaza has led to a devastating loss of life and extensive damage to critical infrastructure. Reports in the past 24 hours indicate that at least 214 Palestinians have lost their lives due to continuous airstrikes.
In addition, there has been a destruction of religious sites, including mosques, with civilians trapped beneath the rubble. Tragic incidents have also occurred at refugee camps, further exacerbating the humanitarian crisis.
Since the conflict began on October 7, over 1.4 million Palestinians have been displaced. Regrettably, 41 journalists have lost their lives, with the majority being Palestinian.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ashraf al-Qudra, the Palestinian Ministry of Health spokesperson, has provided an account of the casualties. He said the death toll stands at 10,569, including 4,324 children, 2,823 women, and 649 elderly individuals.
Additionally, 26,475 people have been wounded, and at least 2,550 are missing, including 1,350 children believed to be buried under the rubble.
G7 Foreign Ministers Call For Ceasefire
Accordingly, G7 foreign ministers have advocated for humanitarian pauses, calling for an immediate ceasefire. They reiterated Israel’s right to self-defense under international law but urged Iran to cease support for Hamas.
The ministers also condemned the rise in violence by extremist settlers in the West Bank and expressed support for a two-state solution. In addition, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken emphasized the need for a lasting peace that ensures the Palestinians’ rights and suggests a post-war unification.
Meanwhile, Qatar has taken steps to mediate negotiations between Israel and Hamas, which could lead to a temporary ceasefire in exchange for the release of hostages. Meanwhile, the Irish prime minister keeps urging fellow EU leaders to immediately release a joint statement calling for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.