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Belgium's Foreign Ministry statement on Jerusalem demolition is "unsubstantiated, absurd and works against peace" - BFOI

A view of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem / credit David Shankbone

BFOI questions the veracity and propriety of Belgian MFA's statement about a municipal dispute between a foreign city and a family who built on public land.

Belgium MFA's obsession with demonising Israel, including this latest attempt to delegitimise its judicial process, works against rather than for peace.”
— BFOI spokesperson

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM, January 20, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Belgian Friends of Israel (BFOI) responded strongly today to a statement put out on Twitter by the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that "demolitions and evictions in the occupied Palestinian territories are illegal under international law, threaten the two state solution and must stop". The tweet was supported by Alexandre Brecx, spokesperson of the Permanent Representation of Belgium to the European Union.

The statement refers to the widely reported case of an eviction from a property in the Sheikh Jarrah district of Israel's capital, Jerusalem.

A spokesman for BFOI said "Why does the Belgian MFA feel the need to make a statement about a municipal dispute between a foreign city and a family who built illegally on public land? This is a civil matter that has been in court for several years. Israel's independent judicial system made a determination that the property in question had been built illegally."

According to the Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, the land upon which the property had been built is designated for a school and kindergartens for children with special educational needs, intended to serve residents of East Jerusalem including Arabs.

BFOI's statement continued "As in any city, building and planning regulations have to be enforced by law, and such would be the case here in Belgium if a structure was built on land to which no legal title was held, and which had no requisite planning applications. The claim that the court's decision is against 'international law' is as unsubstantiated as it is absurd."

"Belgium MFA's obsession with demonising Israel, including this latest attempt to delegitimise its judicial process, works against rather than for peace. By financing, promoting and supporting only one (extremist) view, Belgium is fuelling tensions and division. It is now time for Belgium MFA to stop its ideological, disproportionate antipathy towards the Jewish state", the spokesman's statement concluded.

Celia De Coster
BFOI
+32 493 03 86 78
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