“It is time for sanctions against Israel. The rain of bombs is inhumane,” De Sutter told Nieuwsblad, according to Reuters. “It is clear that Israel does not care about international demands for a ceasefire,” she added.
De Sutter also said that the European Union should immediately suspend its association agreement with Israel, which deepens mutual economic and political cooperation.
The principle of proportionality
Israel attacked Gaza in response to an October 7 attack by Hamas terrorists in southern Israel, in which the militants killed or maimed 1,400 people, mostly civilians, including women and children, and took about 240 hostages, which they dragged into the Gaza Strip.
Israeli retaliation in the Gaza Strip has already claimed more than 10,300 lives, Hamas-controlled authorities there announced this week, but the number could not be independently verified.
According to security analyst Otakar Foltyn, Israel tries to follow the rule of proportionality in its definition for international law and warn civilians in time to leave the area where it is about to strike, even though such a warning means terrorists will also flee.
The United States repeatedly calls on Israel to suspend combat operations, to take humanitarian breaks. According to Foltýn, however, from the point of view of international law, Israel is not directly obliged to declare a ceasefire whenever someone calls it to do so.
It also demands that a ban on the import of products from the Occupied Palestinian Territories should be introduced. He also wants to introduce sanctions against violent settlers, politicians and soldiers responsible for war crimes, who should be banned from entering the EU.
At the same time, she said Belgium should increase funding for the International Criminal Court in The Hague to properly investigate the airstrikes, while cutting off funding for Hamas.
“This is a terrorist organization. Terror costs money and the companies and people who provide money to Hamas must be sanctioned,” De Sutter said.
The first trans woman in an important position
De Sutter is one of the seven deputy prime ministers of the Belgian government, Prime Minister Alexandre De Croo’s cabinet brings together a rather disparate coalition of seven parties. The government was formed after complex negotiations in October 2020, 494 days after the parliamentary elections.
A trained gynecologist who was born a man, De Sutter was then reported as the highest-ranking transgender person in European politics.