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Belgian Politician: 'Sending Arms To Israel Is Direct Complicity In Genocide'

22.02.2024 14:57

We need immediate cease fire, says Marc Botenga.

A Belgian member of the European Parliament called on European governments to put pressure on Israel to end its "genocidal" treatment of Palestinians.

Marc Botenga stressed that sending arms to Israel is direct complicity in genocide.

Botenga, from the Left Group, spoke to Anadolu in the European Parliament regarding Israel's practices against Palestinians and the stance of European countries.

Stating that it is one of the bloodiest wars against the people, Botenga said: "It is impossible to imagine what's going on. I think from here, the suffering, the ethnic cleansing. It is very clear that a number of civilians being killed is something that has not been seen in decades. I think it's an extremely bloody attack targeting civilians directly. The majority of the victims are women and children. So that clearly says that it's not a war against this or that. It's a war against the entire people."

He recalled the story of 6-year-old Hind Rajab, whose relatives were killed in the Israeli attack and the ambulance that went to rescue her was also targeted.

"So these are horrible stories and there is so many of them. It is important to put faces to these numbers because there are humans there and they are being massively killed and it is extremely shocking," Botenga added.

Stating that it is "normal and logical" for Israel to be tried for genocide, Botenga said: "If you look at what is happening (in Gaza) and the different dimensions of the definition of genocide, you cannot help but say that these are genocidal policies."

He continued: "And the International Court of Justice has spoken about a plausible risk of genocide. I know has ordered provisionary measures in order to stop it."

"What's going on in Gaza? The targeting of children, the targeting of families and so on. Of course, these are genocidal practices," he said.

"But what's really making the difference, I think, is the mobilization. Because we need an immediate cease-fire. We need the killing to stop, and we need people to be just respected, their right to live, they like to live in good health. In order to do this, we need to put pressure on our governments because Israel will not stop if we do not put pressure on Israel," he further said.

Botenga said Belgium suspended some arm licenses to Israel. "We have seen other countries, Ireland and Spain speaking about measures. But if there is no concrete pressure on Israel, nothing will happen."

"Today there is still weapons, arms going through the European Union, through the territory of European member states to Israel. It's a direct complicity with this genocide," he said.

Botenga said: "I don't know the association agreement. So this is a preferential trade and an economic agreement the European Union has with Israel. This gives privileges to Israel in the access to the European market. It is impossible today to say that is justified because the agreement itself speaks about human rights. The article two of the agreement says this agreement is based on human rights. Well, you cannot in any way say today that Israel is respecting human rights. That's just impossible. So this agreement needs to be cancelled."

*Writing by Zeynep Cetin in Istanbul -

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