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Dutch foreign minister condemns Israel's new settlement plans

Thursday 08 November 2012

New foreign affairs minister Frans Timmermans made it clear on Wednesday the Dutch government does not support Israel’s plans to build new housing in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Earlier this week it emerged the Israeli government wants to build 1,285 houses in eastern Jerusalem and on the West Bank, both predominantly Palestinian areas.

Timmers said in a short statement settlement in occupied areas contravenes international law.

Two-state solution

‘It undermines the two-state solution in which Israel and a future Palestinian state would exist side-by-side in peace and security,’ Timmermans said.

He also said the Netherlands would continue to invest in a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, through which the interests and concerns of both Israel and Palestinians are taken into account.

The condemnation is a change of direction by the new government. The previous coalition took a stronger pro-Israel line due, in part, to alliance partner and anti-Islam campaigner Geert Wilders.

Do you agree with Timmermans? Have your say using the comment box below.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

Condemning war crimes is all very well. But it's only a first step. What else is the Dutch government going to do about it?

By phantom | 8 November 2012 8:46 AM

occupied(yes) Palestinian territories( never was , maybe never will be)
West Bank( of the jordan river ? telaviv also ?)
Palestinian areas ( again vever was , maybe never will be)
a future Palestinian state would exist side-by-side in peace and security( indeed a nice dream)
due, in part, to alliance partner and anti-Islam campaigner Geert Wilders.( evil to make this link! you can still support israel and democracy while not being anti islam

By israel | 8 November 2012 9:05 AM

This is a first step indeed. But i do think it is quite important to let Israel know that continuing settlements beyond the agreed border is only putting pressure on any kind of solution.

By Lucas | 8 November 2012 9:07 AM

Under a PVV driven law, Dutch MOFA banned issue of MVV to all Iranian people! Now Netherlands is the only country in the world who set such restrictive rules against Iranian people but not Iranian regime. This is apparent racial discrimination. Is he going to change this rule too?

By Anonym | 8 November 2012 9:20 AM

What war crime? Israel re-captured Jerusalem in 1967...(there's so much more to say, but I'll leave it at that). You know what is a crime, unless you are a Muslim, you are forbidden to pray on the Temple Mount because of Palestinian control. It's unfortunate Nl has lost Uri Rosenthal.

By Sam | 8 November 2012 9:53 AM

Finally some sense from the Foreign Ministry.

The pro-Israel was not because of Widers... It was because previous minister, Uri Rosenthal, was from Jewish descent and and married to an Israeli citizen.

Just look at "Israel's best friend" to see the change of direction.

By benito camelas | 8 November 2012 10:10 AM

Israel is surrounded by Arab countries who want nothing more than it's elimination and will stop at nothing less. God gave the whole land to The Jewish people and that is non negotiable so who are the occupiers? It belongs to Israel!

By Andrea Hammond | 8 November 2012 11:50 AM

Settlements should stop in occupied territories, with the exception of natural growth. However, building housing in East Jerusalem is a complex and controversial issue and should be given special consideration in that Jerusalem has been deemed the designated capital (in its entirety) of Israel, and Israel will never accept anything less. That's the reality. And, if we expect the peace effort and two-state solution to move forward we will have to work within that reality, otherwise it is lost.

By Quince | 8 November 2012 12:11 PM

I had a great Israeli friend who fought in the '67 war, Every day for the 14 months we had together he told me stories about that war, including stuff not in 'history.' He left me with the feeling he was still fighting that '67 war. My dream for peace in the Holy Land remains a dream because Israel has never stopped fighting that war - looks like it never will.

By Max Harmreduction | 8 November 2012 4:44 PM

"God gave the whole land to the Jewish people": this is desperate floundering, in which unevidenced beliefs try to take priority over the international law that keeps the world from chaos. Wait a minute: maybe Allah promised the whole lot to the Palestinians! He and Jehovah had better sort that out.
Seriously,it is a relief to see the Netherlands come back in from the self-destructive pro-Zionist cold.

By Donncadh | 8 November 2012 5:24 PM

It's a first step but an imporatnt one as it shows the Dutch government is no longer an outcast in the EU and back on the track of fair treatment to both the people of Palestine and Israeel.

By Herman Koeter | 8 November 2012 5:26 PM

Where was Mr. Timmerman's condemnation as Terrorists rained rockrets on Israeli towns last week? Words like "Occupied territories", "Palestinians"... all part of the age-old Anti-Semitism where the cause of all troubles are Jewish people. Sadly, the new Dutch government is a shameful picture of the blatant and ignorant anti-Israel attitude that hangs over Europe. The "Huffing and puffing" against Israel is so without factual merit that it would be laughable if it weren't for the bloody history that reminds us that the constant rant against "Israel" is actually today's media accepted Anti-Semitism.

By bet | 8 November 2012 6:29 PM

The USA created the problem by internationally pushing for a new nation called "Israel" to be composed of Zionists. Jews and Arabs alike had their homes confiscated (stolen) by "Israel." The USA created the problem; let Americans figure out how to solve it - while the rest of the thinking world opposes the USA!

By Drawer 22 | 8 November 2012 6:34 PM

I see Israel's expansion into the West Bank and Eastern Jerusalem as another provocative action to enrage Palestinians, and counter-productive to any peace settlement in the region. Israel is perpetuating their image as the bully who runs crying to Mom (USA) when their victim fights back. Frankly, I wish my country (USA) would walk away from Israel completely and let Israel and Palestine settle their differences. We should not be involved so much $$$/Military with Israel! Sorry to say....but I don't think there's ever going to be a peaceful co-existence in that region. Too many parents indoctrinating their children to hate the other side. Shame on them.

By Just My 2 cents | 8 November 2012 7:13 PM

Jews are "Palestinians" also because they live in the former roman province by that name. The territory in question is not "occupied" but is part of Israel. Whether or not Israel government allows construction of homes, is no business of interfering parties like the Dutch government. To oppose the building of homes, while turning a blind eye to the construction of nuclear bombs to create another Jewish holocaust--that's madness writ large.

By Kevin Bjornson | 8 November 2012 8:24 PM

Point 1. Were the borders of Europe determined by conquest as late as WW11. Sure think so. And the Jews conquered this land 3,000 years ago before there was any such thing as a Muslim much less a Palestinian.
Point 2. If the Palestinians lay down their arms there would be no more violence.
If the Israelis lay down their arms there would be no more Israel.
End of story.

By Alan | 8 November 2012 10:14 PM

not sure what is worse, the jewish guy claiming here all the land "because god gave it to jews" or your foreign minister that is playing the nazi role

By jim | 9 November 2012 6:54 AM

Since Israel is not Catholic they fortunately do not have to be holier than the Pope.

By kameo | 9 November 2012 6:55 AM

Israel are the rich oppressors who could easily decide to change the situation by helping the downtrodden Palestinians, but they never will. Not while the old orthodox right wing jews are in control. Many young Jews see the shameful oppression by their regime. But the orthodox Jews breed rapidly, often having 10 or more children, due to their lack of contraception. So the old fascist attitudes could be here to stay. Unless a big war changes things.

By sam | 9 November 2012 8:17 AM

you cannot use the bible as a land registry. moreover, if i am not wrong, the bible has been written by jewish. Something like if i write a book, claiming that god told me so, where i write that israel is mine. cmon be serious and less greedy

By jim | 9 November 2012 6:37 PM

I appreciate that the new minister declare to be impartial or better to say on both sides. I have visited personaly both countries - Palestine as well as Israel. People on both side wish peace. I don´t like talk that only one part is a culprit. It´s terrible if bombs fall down to Israel, it´s terrible that Palestinian live within closing border (jail) or their houses or olives threes are destroyed. Don´t blame only the one side, try to look at the problem with eyes of the counterpart. To say that Israel claimed the land because the nation were living there before 5000 years it´s like that Celt would claim most of Europe because they were living here before thousands years.

By Jan | 14 November 2012 10:56 PM

Netanyahu is up for re-election. There is also, within Israel itself, conflict about social-economic issues. What better way to cement his chances for re-election and to divert attention from Israel's internal problems than to sow fear among his electorate by breaking a ceasefire that had been brokered with the cooperation of Ahmad Jaberi - the military leader of Hamas and the very man Israel chose to murder, knowing full well that this left Hamas with no option but to respond.

By Arie Brand | 16 November 2012 8:21 AM

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