Israel does not allow Development Cooperation Minister Meryame Kitir (Vooruit) to visit the Gaza Strip. Kitil said tomorrow she wanted to find a project supported by Belgium, but according to her spokesman, Israeli authorities have not allowed political visits to Gaza at this time. However, it may have also played a role in Kitil’s choice to visit only Palestine territory, said Jens Francen, a VRTNWS journalist who follows Kitil’s journey.

It is clear that the Minister of Development Cooperation, Meryame Kitir (Vooruit), will visit the territory of Palestine. Palestine is one of the 14 partner countries that Belgium has provided structural support for over 20 years. Due to Israel’s strict covid rules, visits were virtually impractical until recently.

In the Gaza Strip of Palestine, Kitil visited a waste restoration project in which Japan is cooperating with the United Nations Development Program. Projects by young entrepreneurs would also have been discussed. However, these visits are now being superseded by visits to Bethlehem’s development projects, as Israel does not allow Kitil to enter Palestinian territory.

“The Israeli government says it will not allow political delegations in Gaza,” says Jens Francen, a VRTNWS journalist who follows Kitil’s journey. “The Israeli government can also refuse because Israel controls the only gateway to the completely walled Gaza.”

According to Francen, two things are involved. “The last few weeks and days have been very restless. Almost every day there are attacks and failed attacks. For example, attacks by Palestinian terrorists have killed at least 19 people in the past month and a half. It also played a role in the choice of Development Cooperation Minister Kitil to visit only Palestine territory, where she somewhat broke the Belgian diplomatic tradition of visiting both camps. The choice may not have given Israel a good reputation. “

Visit while the area is burning (and expect more attacks)

Therefore, Minister Kitil is visiting Palestine’s territory when the area is on fire. Over the past month and a half, there have been at least seven attacks in Israel (a total of 19 deaths). Israel has doubled the number of military personnel on the west bank of the Jordan River, allowing small-scale military operations to be carried out as needed.

On the contrary, peace does not seem to come back soon. Naftali Bennett’s supranational government is back on the clash course this week as it announces 4,000 controversial new units in Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory, in violation of international law. Last week, an Israeli judge ruled that about 8,000 Palestinians had to give way to an Israeli military training ground near Hebron.

Also, Mr. Kitil’s visit is scheduled for the week immediately before May 15th, when Palestinians commemorate the Nakuba (catastrophe). It was the day they lost a large area in what is now Israel in 1948. By that anniversary, security incidents often pile up on the territory of Israel and Palestine.

Source: vrt


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