Wallonia suspends two gunpowder exports to Israel

Wallonia has suspended two export licences for gunpowder, from a factory in Engis (Liège province) to the Israeli port city of Ashdod near the Gaza Strip, citing concerns about the intended destination. The decision follows recent rulings by the International Court of Justice on Israel and Gaza, and concerns about the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

The Walloon regional government has suspended two licences granted to the PB Clermont munitions factory at the beginning of 2023, Housing minister Christophe Collignon told the Walloon parliament on Monday, speaking on behalf of government leader Elio Di Rupo. The ammunition would normally be exported via the port of Antwerp to Ashdod.

According to the official documents on the basis of which the government has to decide whether or not to allow the exports, the ammunition does not have the Israeli armed forces as its final destination. After processing, it should be exported to other countries in the European Union, including Belgium, and to the United States.

Although this is in accordance with Walloon law, the government has nevertheless suspended the current licences. According to the minister, the decision was prompted by the International Court of Justice's rulings on Israel and Gaza on 27 January and the "unacceptable deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Gaza".


Walloon minister for Local Authorities and Housing Christophe Collignon © BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK

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