Belgium calls for United Nations probe, summons Israeli ambassador over Gaza violence

Marcos Fernando Yax

Belgium on Tuesday called for a United Nations -led investigation into the violence in Gaza that saw dozens of Palestinian protesters killed by Israeli forces, and also summoned the Israeli ambassador.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has added his voice to the chorus of condemnation of the deadly attack by Israeli forces in Gaza on Monday that left 58 Palestinian protesters dead.

One of the leaders of the march‚ and former Muslim Judicial Council president‚ Sheik Ebrahim Gabriels said they "respected and honoured" the South African government's withdrawal of its ambassador from Israel and asked that the Israeli embassy in Pretoria be closed.

He also condemned US President Donald Trump's decision to open an embassy in Jerusalem.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said the Israeli ambassador will not be expelled from Ireland in response to the conflict in Gaza.

"It is the legitimate right of the Palestinians to protest their situation for 70 years and today is the commemoration of the Nakba, the catastrophe in which the Palestinian people were dispossessed". That is not the way we believe we should engage with other states.

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"They can't speak to foreigners, when they speak to anyone they can be intimidated or questioned". How many Israeli soldiers have been hurt or injured?

Sheikh Shamiel Panday said that it was up to the man on the street to show solidarity with the Palestinian people because "no country as a whole gives a damn". "But what else can we, as the government, do is something we need to consider".

"The South African government regards the occupation of Palestine as unjust, and to that extent, we need to continue the effort that there is a climate for peace. and encouragement of dialogue".

He said that while the gathering outside City Hall was very small, there was an intention to have more pickets.

- Lindiwe Sisulu, International Relations and Cooperation MinisterWe recalled the ambassador to come and explain to us what is happening in Gaza.

"We obviously are going to apply our minds with Cabinet colleagues, and we will respond in due course at the soonest available opportunity", he said.

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