JERUSALEM (VINnews) — Belgium’s Minister of Development Cooperation and Urban Policy, Caroline Gennez, has accused Israel of “erasing entire Palestinian villages from the map.”Join our WhatsApp group
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In an interview with the pro-Palestinian Flemish daily De Morgen published earlier this week, Gennez claimed that “In the occupied Palestinian territories, the situation is no longer sustainable. Entire villages have been wiped off the map by Israelis. The periods of violent escalation are becoming shorter and more intense. As a result, the population has nowhere to turn. More Palestinians have been injured and killed due to violence since the beginning of this year compared to all of 2022.”
Following her comments, Belgium’s Ambassador to Israel, Jean-Luc Bodson, was summoned for a reprimand at the Israeli Foreign Ministry, while Israel’s Ambassador to Belgium, Idit Rosenzweig-Abu, submitted a strongly worded protest letter to the Belgian Foreign Ministry.
“The Belgian ambassador in Israel was summoned to the MFA for reprimand and required to provide explanations,” Rosenzweig-Abu wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
A spokesperson from Israel’s Foreign Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.
Rosenzweig-Abu also sent a protest letter to the Belgian foreign ministry and to Gennez, whose comments she described as “libelous and defamatory.”
In her, the ambassador expressed her profound dismay at the inflammatory remarks made by the Belgian minister during her interview. Regarding her claim that more Palestinians had been killed and injured in 2023, Rosenzweig-Abu responded that more Israelis have been injured and killed this year than in any year since 2005.
Gennez appeared to be referring to a recent AP report that three illegal Bedouin hamlets in Area C of Judea and Samaria had been cleared out, due to what former residents said was a year of intensified attacks and harassment by armed Jewish settlers living in outposts on neighboring hilltops.