ANPPremier Rutte at last night’s debate and last night
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 05:43
The House of Representatives will vote today on the government’s commitment to the European summit on Thursday and Friday. Then the heads of government of the EU countries discuss the war between Hamas and Israel.
In an eventful parliamentary debate with outgoing Prime Minister Rutte, which lasted into the night, part of the House argued for a so-called ceasefire. Led by D66 and GroenLinks-PvdA, various parties want to indicate that they want an end to any use of weapons between Israel and Hamas.
The parties also submitted a motion stating that the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner has spoken of a violation of international law of war by Israel. The parties want fuel and drinking water to be delivered to Gaza immediately.
Rutte objected to this motion. Not because of its purpose, but because Israel allegedly violated international laws of war.
He does not want to make a statement on this complicated issue now. “That requires international research.” Earlier in the debate, he told the SP, among others, that it is not up to the Netherlands to take a position on this now.
Advocating for a ceasefire places the Netherlands in isolation, says Rutte. It is not feasible at the moment and has too many snags, he believes. Rutte expects the EU countries to reach an agreement on humanitarian aid on Thursday and Friday.
Ceasefire or pause in fighting?
Proponents of a ceasefire in the House of Representatives want an end to all weapons use between Hamas and Israel.
Other parties prefer to speak of combat pauses or humanitarian pauses. They are against a broad ceasefire because it means that Israel can no longer take armed action against terrorist acts by Hamas, not even to free hostages or prevent attacks.
Although they use different words, most parties want the same thing: to enable humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza.
The government is committed to a permanent humanitarian corridor in the south of Gaza for the supply of relief goods from Egypt. The government will again argue for humanitarian pauses in combat. The aim is to provide humanitarian aid within the EU to civilians living in Gaza.
Outgoing Minister of Foreign Affairs Bruins Slot also expressed this position at the UN Security Council in New York. “We need a continued flow of humanitarian aid for all basic needs. And much more is needed, including fuel.” Water supplies to Gaza must be restored immediately, she said.
A broad majority in Parliament supports the government’s efforts. The motions that want the cabinet to move forward are not expected to receive a majority in the votes.