Belgian parliament calls on EU for measures against Israeli annexation

The European Union has expressed its opposition to Israel’s stated plans to apply this year Israeli civilian law to parts of the West Bank that Israel now controls under military law.

A Belgian national flag flies over the Royal Palace (photo credit: FRANCOIS LENOIR / REUTERS)
A Belgian national flag flies over the Royal Palace
(photo credit: FRANCOIS LENOIR / REUTERS)
(JTA) — A majority of lawmakers in the lower house of the Belgian parliament passed a non-binding resolution calling on their government to push in the EU for drawing up a list of countermeasures against Israel if it “annexes occupied” territory.
The resolution, passed Friday morning, states that the Chamber of Representatives of Belgium asks the federal government to “play a leading role in the European and multilateral levels for the creation of a list of effective countermeasures, which are a response to any Israeli annexation of occupied Palestinian area.”
The European Union has expressed its opposition to Israel’s stated plans to apply this year Israeli civilian law to parts of the West Bank that Israel now controls under military law. But it and the governments of its member states have so far refrained from threatening Israel with sanctions or countermeasures, as the Belgian resolution calls them.
The documents in the part that explains its reasoning notes the application of “economic restrictions” placed by the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, against Russia for its annexation of Crimea in 2014.
The document, submitted by three members of Ecolo-Green party, which is in the opposition, also states that the federal government should “take initiatives to support” in international forums “international law and the parameters for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” and to prevent what the document calls Israeli “annexation of Israeli colonies,” or settlements.
The resolution at the chamber, which has 150 members, passed 101-39.
It was submitted by Wouter De Vriendt, Samuel Cogolati and Simon Moutquin, a co-secretary of the BDS Belgium movement, a part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.
A separate resolution calling on the government to recognize a Palestinian state was submitted last month but has not yet come to a vote.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced plans, which some refer to as annexation plans,