This morning, Foreign Minister Hajja Habib and Development Cooperation Minister Caroline Jennes summoned the Israeli ambassador to express their anger over the bombing of the office of the Belgian development cooperation agency “ENABEL” in Gaza. Belgium “strongly” condemns the “completely unacceptable” attack in the Palestinian Gaza Strip.
There were no employees in the office at the time of the Israeli attack, according to Lahbib. Enabel’s offices are located in a six-story tower in Gaza City, in the northern Gaza Strip. The development agency rented one floor of the building. The other floors were rented by Handicap International and others.
Last month, the government decided to evacuate the 19 local employees and their families. This has now been achieved for two of them, who hold dual citizenship. The other 17 are Palestinians and cannot leave the area yet. Their number, including their families, who may also be repatriated, is 70 people. “We are counting on these people, including many children, to be able to leave Gaza quickly and unharmed,” the State Department said.
She stressed to Habib again after her conversation with the Israeli ambassador that destroying non-military targets “contraries international law.” Belgium will once again insist within the European Union that Israel compensate for the damage it inflicts on European Union projects and European Union countries in the Gaza Strip. There is little left of Gaza now after Israel launched attacks there for months to eliminate Hamas and free the hostages.
Ambassador Aidit Rosenzweig-Abu confirmed to Belga News Agency that Israel is currently investigating whether the bombing was actually carried out by the Israeli army. “Once we have that information, we will share it.”