Peter Mertens, Secretary General of the Belgian Labor Party: What is happening in Gaza is genocide (Al Jazeera)

Secretary General of the Belgian Labor Party, Peter Mertens, called on the international community to define Israel as a colonial power, an apartheid state, and an occupying force, stressing the need for the international community to dismantle these elements “because there is no future for the region without dismantling these three elements.”

In statements to Al Jazeera Net, Mertens considered what was happening in the Gaza Strip “the first genocidal war, which has been continuing for more than 4 months live and on television,” adding that the situation in Gaza had become “inhumane and unlivable, and that the Israeli bombing had destroyed all The infrastructure is there."

Mertens denounced some people's demands for the 1.4 million displaced people in Rafah to return to the north, explaining that there is no life there because of Israel's policy of starvation, destroying health facilities, sabotaging the future of education, and bombing schools and universities coupled with a systematic policy of destroying Palestinian history.

He added that Israel also targeted the destruction of cultural centers, museums, libraries, and everything that refers to the cultural heritage of Palestinians and Palestine in Gaza, noting the spread of video clips of some settlers attacking humanitarian aid convoys heading to Gaza.

Western collusion

The Belgian politician said that he does not find an explanation for the reason why Israel has always escaped punishment for the crimes it has committed throughout 75 years of colonization, occupation, and seizure of Palestinian lands.

Adding that he was present at the sessions of the International Court of Justice that received the lawsuit filed by South Africa before the court.

He also considered that Pretoria had succeeded in bringing international attention to The Hague, and that its claim was practical, and was based on facts and documents documenting the war crimes committed by Israel in Gaza.

Israel demanded the necessity of adhering to the United Nations resolution issued in 1980 requiring the return of all occupied territories to their Palestinian people, recalling that it did not implement the resolution and was not subjected to any action or punishment.

He added that Benjamin Netanyahu's government is drawing plans for further colonization, or at least to develop a full military occupation structure again in Gaza. He also accused the United States and Europe of complicity and hypocrisy regarding the position on Israel, noting that the free trade agreement between Europe and Israel is still valid, And all technological knowledge in Europe goes to the Israeli army.

Mertens called for the imposition of a comprehensive ban on the export of weapons or their passage through Belgian and European territory towards Tel Aviv, in addition to an economic blockade on Israel, similar to the steps that Europe took within one month towards Russia when it attacked Ukraine.

The right to resist

Concerning some opinions that accuse the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) of starting the war, Mertens called for remembering that the policy of occupation, land colonization, and apartheid followed by Tel Aviv began 75 years ago, and asked, “Does Israel think it can suppress the Palestinian people forever? Certainly not, and it must.” There should be a reaction against colonialism and occupation, especially since the right to resistance is recognized by the United Nations.”

Mertens warned Israel against provoking Muslims during the month of Ramadan, and said that the Tel Aviv government's submission to Israeli extremists is the reason for the war taking place now, stressing that "faith has a deep place in the heart that cannot tolerate provocation, especially since among the Palestinians are those who lost their wife, home, or family, and all... "His life and only his religion and faith remain for him. Whoever tries to provoke him in this regard certainly aims to provoke more resistance."

Source: Al Jazeera