Human Rights Violations – Belgium Leads the Way to Re-Evaluate EU-Israel Trade Agreement

Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Petra De Sutter. (Photo: Green European Foundation & Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Article 2 of the agreement stipulates that relations between the parties “shall be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles”.

Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister, Petra De Sutter, announced that her country will lead a “re-evaluation” of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, which serves as the foundation for trade between the European Union and Israel.

“Decided: Belgium will take the lead at the EU level to re-evaluate our Association Agreement with Israel”, De Sutter said on X on Friday.

“We will co-sponsor a UN resolution in favor of full Palestinian UN membership,” she also said, adding:

“And we call for an EU-wide import duty on products coming from illegal Israeli settlements.”

Last February, Leo Varadkar, former Prime Minister of Ireland, revealed that other EU member states were reviewing the 2000 EU-Israel trade agreement due to concerns that Israel may be violating the agreement’s human rights clause.

In a joint letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Varadkar and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez called for an “urgent review” of Israel’s compliance with its obligations under the agreement, which emphasizes the importance of respecting human rights and democratic principles.

Indeed, article 2 of the agreement stipulates that relations between the parties “shall be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles”.

Sanctions on Settlers

The European Union, as well as the United States, have imposed sanctions against extremist Jewish settlers and organizations in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, citing serious human rights abuses against Palestinians.

Amongst the prominent far-right individuals targeted are Ben Zion Gopstein and the Lehava group, of which he is the founder and leader. Gopstein, according to the Israeli Haaretz newspaper, “advises National Security Minister Ben-Gvir on police matters” and was “convicted earlier this year of incitement to racism.”

The EU on Friday listed “four persons and two entities” under the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime.

‘Serious Rights Abuses’ – EU, US Sanction Extremist Jewish Settlers and Groups 

“The listed individuals and entities are responsible for serious human rights abuses against Palestinians, including torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and for the violation of right to property and to private and family life of Palestinians in the West Bank,” the EU Council said in a statement.

Those listed under the sanctions regime are subject to an asset freeze, and the provision of funds or economic resources, directly or indirectly, to them or for their benefit, is prohibited. Additionally, a travel ban to the EU applies to those listed.


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1 Comment

  1. The thugs and terrorists who rule Israel are solely responsible for the current rise of Jew-hatred around the world. They are incapable of creating and maintaining a safe haven for Jews, the original well-meaning intention. Israel was created in terror and can only be changed when the Israeli working class brings down the terror regime in Jerusalem and joins with their Palestinian brother and sisters in human solidarity. Hamas’ actions were criminal – but entirely understandable. Sooner or later, a beaten dog will bite. Ain’t rocket science.

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