Salem Radio Network News Sunday, March 3, 2024

World

Belgian PM says he told Israeli president ‘no more civilian killings’ as fighting restarted in Gaza

By Alexander Cornwell

DUBAI (Reuters) – The Belgian prime minister on Saturday said that he had spoken with Israel’s president following the resumption of fighting in Gaza and told him there could be no more killing of civilians.

A week-old temporary truce between Israel and Hamas collapsed on Friday after mediators were unable to extend the pause. Israel and Hamas have traded blame over the collapse.

“I’ve addressed my concerns about the fact that violence has started again and I’ve again repeated what I said at the Rafah gate: no more civilian killings,” Belgium’s Alexander De Croo told reporters at the COP28 U.N. climate summit in Dubai.

Israel’s foreign ministry summoned the Belgian and Spanish ambassadors over remarks made by their prime ministers last week at the Egyptian-controlled Rafah border crossing into Gaza.

De Croo said at the time that Israel must respect international humanitarian law, that the destruction of Gaza was unacceptable and the killing of civilians had to stop.

An Israeli official said on Friday that the military abides by international law and that its sought to minimise the loss of civilian lives.

On Saturday, De Croo said Israel has “the right to eliminate the terrorist threat originating from Gaza” but that everything should be done to make sure that no more civilians were killed.

Israeli warplanes have pounded areas of Gaza since the end of the temporary truce, killing hundreds of people, according to health officials in the coastal strip. Sirens warning of rocket fire sounded in Israeli communities near Gaza on Saturday but there were no reports of serious damage or casualties.

“It’s unfortunate that the violence has started again. We hope that as soon as possible, more hostages can be liberated. We hope that the humanitarian access could be a permanent humanitarian access,” De Croo said.

(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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