Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Jewish organisations to demonstrate in Brussels on Monday
The Flemish and Walloon Jewish umbrella organisations are planning a demonstration at the Israeli Embassy in the wake of Hamas attacks on Israel.
The Forum of Jewish Organisations (FJO) and the Comité de Coordination des Organisations Juives de Belgique (CCOJB) will demonstrate in Brussels on Monday. The CCOJB expresses its "absolute and unconditional solidarity" with the State of Israel. The organisation speaks of "terrorist acts" against Israeli civilians on the initiative of Hamas. "This unprecedented terrorist war demonstrates the worrying resurgence of Palestinian terrorism," the CCOJB said on social media. "These acts justify Israel to use all the means to defend itself."
"These acts justify Israel to use all the means to defend itself"
The CCOJB said it supported the Israeli victims and their families. The president of the Central Israelite Consistory of Belgium (CICB), Philippe Markiewicz, hopes that the resurgence of violence in the region will lead to a renewed peace between Palestine and Israel.
FJO and CCOJB announced on X, the former Twitter, that they would gather on Monday from 18.15 on Avenue de l'Observatoire in Uccle. At the time of writing, local police were unable to confirm whether the demonstration had been authorised.
Meanwhile, the permanent security hotline of the Jewish community in Antwerp is receiving calls from concerned residents, according to N-VA MP Michael Freilich, a prominent community member.
In the centre of Antwerp, an Israeli flag flying during the World Gymnastics Championships was removed by youths on Saturday night and replaced with a Palestinian flag. Local police have launched an investigation. The perpetrators have not yet been apprehended but footage of the incident is circulating on social media. The police removed the Palestinian flag on Sunday morning.
Following the attacks by the Islamist group Hamas, Israel's security cabinet declared a state of war. This decision allows for "wide-ranging military action", Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet said on Sunday.
"Our diplomatic missions on the ground and our services in Brussels remain fully mobilised"
Poland and Bulgaria have started evacuating civilians. Belgium is not considering evacuating its citizens for the time being. "Our diplomatic missions on the ground and our services in Brussels remain fully mobilised," the FPS Foreign Affairs said
"We are also in contact with our European partners to closely follow the developments and the situation, including in Gaza, where we know about 20 Belgians on the ground (10 registered in our consular registers and 10 in transit)."
Many dead or wounded
The large-scale attack on Israel by the Islamist movement Hamas, which began on Saturday morning, has already claimed the lives of 700 people in Israel, Israeli media reported on Sunday evening. In addition, 2,243 people have been hospitalised, with 22 in acritical condition and 343 seriously injured. Hamas militants have also kidnapped at least 100 people, the Israeli government said earlier.
According to the Gaza health ministry, Israeli army operations have killed 370 people in the Gaza Strip. This brings the total number of people killed in the conflict to more than 1,000.
© PHOTO JAAFAR ASHTIYEH / AFP