Belgian coalition criticizes minister for comment about Israel

A regional Belgian minister was sharply criticized on Wednesday for alleging that IDF troops targeted children during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. Youth Minister Bert Anciaux of the Flemish regional government wrote on his blog that the killing of two babies at a day care center in Dendermonde, Belgium, last week reminded him of children in the Gaza Strip, "also consciously killed by an aggressor." Members of the ruling coalition criticized Anciaux during Wednesday's legislative session, with Liberal Annick De Ridder saying he "should think twice before making such remarks." The Christian Democrats said they would no longer support Anciaux. In a statement marking the international Holocaust Day, Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht said "Belgium continues its unwavering support for the existence of the state of Israel."