Belgium was expecting to rebuke Israel’s ambassador over the violence in Gaza, but she fought back instead.
By: World Israel News Staff
Israel’s Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg Simona Frankel was summoned by both foreign ministries, which sought to dress her down for Monday’s violence on Israel’s southern border with Gaza, during which 62 Palestinians, mostly terrorists, were killed.
Belgium’s Foreign Minister Didier Reynders called in Frankel on Tuesday after she said that all Palestinians killed in the violence were “terrorists.”
Belgium’s Prime Minister Charles Michel called for an international inquiry into the clashes, to be led by the United Nations.
“The violence committed in the Gaza Strip yesterday is unacceptable. We call for an international inquiry led by the United Nations,” Michel said in a joint statement with Reynders. “Firing live rounds on protesters is shameful.”
During an interview with Belgian broadcaster RTBF, Frankel said that those killed were terrorists. “Look at the people who take a baby toward a fence. These are not peaceful demonstrators.”
To this, Reynders stated “to say that all the people who were killed were terrorists, that is beyond belief.”
Incidentally, a Hamas official admitted that 50 of the 62 Palestinians killed during the riots on the Gaza border were members of the Palestinian terrorist group.
“In the last rounds of confrontations, if 62 people were martyred, 50 of the martyrs were Hamas and 12 from the people [civilians]. How can Hamas reap the fruits if it pays such an expensive price?” Hamas official Salah Bardawil said in an interview with the Palestinian Baladna news outlet on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the IDF and the Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) stated that they identified 24 terrorists “with documented terror backgrounds” who were killed during the violent riots along the Gaza border.
Frankel was similarly summoned by Luxembourg for a rebuke on Wednesday.
The summons is usually supposed to serve as a diplomatic form of humiliation and rebuke, but Frankel fought back and refused to hear any criticism by the two countries.
“It appears the Belgian foreign ministry belongs to the school which holds that when an ambassador is summoned for a rebuke, he is supposed to act like a chided child and to listen with a bowed head and not respond. I responded and told the Belgians: your biased positions are not helping peace,” Frankel wrote in a report to Israel’s foreign ministry, Israel’s Ynet news reported Thursday.
After hearing Belgium’s grievances about a long list of alleged violations committed by Israel, Frankel decide to respond to the allegations and rebuked the Belgians for not knowing the facts.
“The fact that with a press of a button by Hamas all the protestors disappeared from the fence is clear proof of who brought them there.”
Responding to allegations that Israel used “disproportionate force” against the rioters, she said “I would like to hear how you define proportional?”
She concluded her response by slamming the Belgians for their biased positions. “There is no one who wants peace more than us, but Belgium’s one-sided stances usually do not contribute to peace.”
She made similar statements at the Luxembourg ministry.
Israel has had diplomatic clashes with Belgium on similar matters in the past.