Belgium PM slams Israel's bombing of refugee camps, says Gaza response is 'no longer proportionate'

Belgium PM slams Israel's bombing of refugee camps, says Gaza response is 'no longer proportionate'
Belgium PM Alexander De Croo called Israel's horrifying bombing of refugee camps last weekend 'a bridge too far', following the strikes that killed scores of Palestinians in the al-Maghazi and Bureij camps.
2 min read
07 November, 2023
Alexander De Croo reaffirmed Belgium's stance calling for a ceasefire in the besieged and bombed Gaza Strip [Getty]

Belgium Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has condemned Israel’s recent strikes targeting refugee camps in Gaza, calling them "no longer proportional".

De Croo made the comments in response to Israel’s claims that it shelled the camps, which are home to thousands of families, to target Hamas killing dozens of civilians.

The strikes killed scores of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, where the death toll from over a month of indiscriminate bombing has surpassed 10,000 Palestinian victims.

Over the course of Israel's month-long onslaught of the Gaza Strip, Israel has bombed the Jabalia, al-Maghazi and Bureij, flattening entire blocks in the densely populated refugee camps.

On Sunday, Israel killed at least 47 Palestinians following a strike on al-Maghazi camp, and a further 13 people were also killed after the Bureij camp was shelled.

"Bombing an entire refugee camp with the intention of taking out one terrorist, I don’t think you can say that is proportional," the Belgian premier told reporters, as cited by Politico. "It is a bridge too far."

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De Croo also warned against "unbridled" violence in the West Bank, where Israeli forces and settlers have stepped up their near-daily raids in the occupied territory, killing over 150 Palestinians since 7 October and emptying entire Palestinian villages.

At least 1,740 Palestinians have also been detained since the start of Israel’s brutal campaign in Gaza.

De Croo discussed the deteriorating situation in Gaza on Monday with Jordan’s King Abdullah, with the Belgian PM reaffirming the need for a humanitarian ceasefire as well as the delivery of aid to the besieged enclave and civilian protection.

Belgium - like many Western countries - has expressed some form of support for Israel during its war on the Palestinian territory, but has also urged Israel to end its complete siege of Gaza, which has deprived the densely-populated enclave of water, fuel, and food.

Brussels has also warned against Israel's "spiralling violence" in Gaza.

The country's International Development Minister Caroline Gennez, described the situation in Gaza as "shameful", and slammed European Union chief Ursula von der Leyen’s trip to Israel during the start of the war, where she implied the EU's unconditional support for the country.

Israel has indiscriminately bombarded Gaza since 7 October, killing at least 10,000 Palestinians, almost half of children. Hospitals, homes, and places of worship have been damaged or destroyed and entire districts flattened in the bombardment.

Rights groups and several Arab nations have said that Israel's actions in Gaza amount to war crimes.