Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Gennez approves additional 2m euros for Palestinians
Minister of Development Cooperation Caroline Gennez (Vooruit) is releasing an additional 2 million euros for the UN humanitarian country fund committed to the Palestinian territories. Gennez, who is on a five-day working visit to Morocco, announced the aid from Casablanca on Monday.
UN aid workers warned on Monday that vital supplies were running out in Gaza. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which is coordinating the emergency response and distribution of aid to civilian victims in Gaza and the rest of the Palestinian territories, said water, food and fuel were running out, and hospitals had only 24 hours of fuel left to run emergency generators. The organisation says 294 million dollars is needed over the next three months to meet the needs in Gaza and the region.
"It is clear that the humanitarian needs in Gaza will increase exponentially in the coming days and weeks," Gennez said on Monday. "Belgium has already contributed to the immediate humanitarian response in Gaza and the region. In fact, our country is the second largest donor to the UN Humanitarian Country Fund for the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Now 2 euros million will be added".
On Monday, Gennez reiterated her call for Israel to respect international humanitarian law. "Hamas' terror cannot be justified," she said. "The Israeli response must be in accordance with international humanitarian law and with respect for innocent civilians. I call for international humanitarian law to be respected: that means allowing basic goods, such as water and food, and urgent medical care, to reach those in need and allowing humanitarian workers to continue their work. The Israeli hostages must also be released immediately and unconditionally."
She added that a longer-term structural solution was imminent. "At some point, Israel and Palestine will have to sit down and negotiate a two-state solution. The alternative is an endless spiral of violence, with innocent civilians on both sides paying the price. The violence must end as soon as possible. A negotiated settlement between Israelis and Palestinians is the only way forward."
© BELGA PHOTO JONAS ROOSENS