Monday Jun 29, 2020
BRUSSELS: Hundreds of people on Sunday demonstrated in the Belgian capital against a proposed occupation of the Palestinian territories by Israel. The protest was organised by the Association Belgo-Palestinienne (ABP).
An estimated 400 people took part in the demonstration, which was attended by a large number of Belgian youth as well as young Jewish people. Protesters held large numbers of Palestinian flags and anti-Israel placards.
Members of the ABP addressed the demonstrators, saying Israel's expansionist intentions regarding Palestine were never secret and so is the case with West Bank.
"We Palestinians will continue to fight against it, even if the world's largest power continues to support Israel," they vowed. The highlight of the demonstration was the participation of Jewish youth who had brought their own banners in support of Palestine.
Some 1,080 members of the European Parliament, from 25 European countries, earlier this week had rejected Israel's proposed occupation of the Palestinian territories and called for an end to it. The lawmakers had raised "serious concerns" about the proposals and called for "commensurate consequences".
"We are deeply concerned about US President Donald Trump's proposal for peace between the Palestinians and Israel, which gives Israel the right to integrate the West Bank into Israel."
The European lawmakers called upon the leaderships to take an initiative and play their part in preventing such an occupation as it would not only make Palestinian sovereignty meaningless but also undermine the idea of lasting peace in the region through a two-state solution.
In their letter, the MPs quoted the EU foreign minister Josep Borrell as saying "there is no room for the idea of forcible occupation of territories by force in 2020 and the consequences of this process".
The lawmakers also stressed that the issue was no less dangerous than the process of dealing with the coronavirus epidemic. However, "for a lasting solution to a conflict, it must also guarantee the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians for protection and their equal rights with Israel".
It may be recalled that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had earlier announced that he would present a resolution in the parliament on July 1 for the integration of the occupied Palestinian territories into Israel.
In this regard, US President Donald Trump, while supporting Israel, had suggested that it should include 30% of the West Bank.