On Monday, the NRC reported that dogs sent to the Israeli army are used against Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, despite an EU ban on the export of strategic goods such as pistols and camouflage paint.
‘Service dogs’ do not fall under the same heading for exports, but the paper questions this because the Dutch police and defence ministry classify these dogs as ‘means to violence’ just like pepper spray and fire arms.
Palestinians, including minors, are often bitten by Dutch dogs and the use of dogs is increasing as violence in the region flares up again. ‘It is very clear Dutch dogs are being used as weapons by the Israeli army and for suppressing the Palestinian people. They should not be supplied,’ SP spokesman Harry Bommel said.
Palestinian officials have also called for the export of service dogs to be halted. ‘The dogs are being used to strengthen the illegal occupation. That makes the Netherlands jointly liable for the crimes which follow on from this,’ spokesman Hanana Ashrawi told the NRC.
On Thursday, the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, prime minister Rami Hamdallah and foreign minister Riyad Al-Malki will be in the Netherlands for talks on cooperation between the two countries.