The Belgian parliament has overwhelmingly adopted a motion that urges the government to impose punitive measures against Israel if it decides to annex the West Bank.

The text also calls for European-wide economic sanctions against Israel if Jerusalem does not comply with its demands. 

The Chamber of Representatives in Brussels had also scheduled a debate and vote to recognise a Palestinian state but was later referred to committee due to last-minute amendments, according to The Times of Israel.

The resolution “concerning Israel’s annexation of occupied territories in Palestine” was passed with 101 votes in favor and 39 abstentions. No lawmakers voted against the resolution, the Times reported.

The motion urges the government of Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès to present a “list of efficient counter-measures geared at responding in a proportional manner to any Israeli annexation of occupied Palestinian territory.”

The resolution also calls on Brussels to “play an active role in setting up a coalition of like-minded member states to explore possible reactions” if Israel extends its sovereignty over West Bank territory.  

Any foreign policy moves made by the European Union must be done by consensus, meaning the bloc needs unanimous approval by all 27 member-states before any significant measures can be taken against Israel.     

And with Israel’s close ties to countries like Hungary and Austria, it’s unlikely the EU can persuade Israel away from its annexation plans.  

Source: i24news

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