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Belgium to impose sanctions on Israeli settlers in West Bank: Foreign minister

Anadolu Agency WORLD
Published March 28,2024

Belgium on Thursday said it will impose sanctions on Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank.

During her visit to the village of Mazra'ah Al Qibliyah in the West Bank, Belgium Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib said: "Belgium condemns settlements and has decided to impose sanctions on violent settlers," according to state-run Belga news agency.

"According to international law, these settlements are illegal," she noted.

Lahbib also met with Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh and Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki in Ramallah. "I expressed Belgium's solidarity with the Palestinian people for the tens of thousands of civilian casualties in Gaza," she said on X.

"The humanitarian situation on the ground is catastrophic," she added.

Israel has waged a deadly military offensive on the Palestinian enclave since an Oct. 7 cross-border attack by Hamas in which some 1,200 Israelis were killed.

More than 32,500 Palestinians have since been killed and over 74,900 injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

The Israeli army has also imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip, leaving most of the population, particularly residents of the north, on the verge of starvation.

The Israeli war, now in its 174th day, has pushed 85% of Gaza's population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.