1. Belgian senator Vincent Van Quickenborne is the driving force behind the complaint against Sharon
Abstract signed by senator Quickenborne
Brussels, June 18th 2001
Law on Genocide 1993 needs no modification.
The senators Vincent Van Quickenborn and Patrick Vankrunkelsven (ex-VU-ID) now VLD (liberals) are - amongst other politicians - the layers of the foundation to organize a complaint for a Civil Law Justice proceeding against AriŽl Sharon for crimes against humanity for the massacre in the camps of Shabra and Shatilla in September 1982.
With deep respect for the victims, especially for the courage of the witness Souad Sroer el Meri, today present at the press-conference.
We, as senators want explicitly stay on the sideline while Justice is working on this complaint. Let Justice do her job. It has nothing to do with a political manoeuvre from our side, but about a complaint of 28 victims whom are seeking for justice.
2. Vincent Van Quickenborne en co on a trip into Israel and their conclusions.
Brussels April 8th 2002
Impressions and conclusions about the visit to Israel and Palestine, April 4-6th 2002.
Call for immediate assembling of the commission Foreign affairs of the Senate.
The situation in Bethlehem is all but hallucinating, rather painful smart. The streets are fearfully empty, every Palestinian who dares coming out of their homes is immediately send back inside by Israeli soldiers. The public utilities in the city are destroyed on purpose, the food- and drink supplies are nearly exhausted. Bethlehem nowadays is a ghost-town, in spite of the 10.000 Palestinian inhabitants, waiting in fear behind closed doors further evolution in the situation.
The local hospital experienced no damage, but victims or patients have difficulties in getting there.
The image of a mother and her new born baby, both deceased because they didnt get through the Israeli checkpoint did leave a deep impression and proof the cynical senselessness of violence and suppression.
There is no water, no electricity. People cant leave their homes for days and there is a food-problem.
From Bethlehem to Jericho. With the necessary formalities we get smoothly into town.
Apparently live goes on as usual, the inhabitants await uncomplaining the future situation. We meet a man with a fighting spirit, but above all a very frustrated minister Erakat, who isolated in his local office tries to obtain information. Contact with Arafat is impossible although both politicians depend on each other.
Erakat is especially disappointed in the attitude of Europe and speaks a threatening language: If the Israelis are not prepared to guarantee our safety and prevent our children to visit school, than we have but one solution, prevent their children to go to school and threaten their safety too. We both win, or loose
The checkpoint of Qalandia is plain-spoken dangerous. Everybody who comes near, immediately gets a weapon from a sharp-shooter pointed at him.
The often very young militaries are nervous and squared. Every wrong move could have fatale consequences. Those who try to approach anyway get yelled at, in a very aggressive tone.
A few hundred meters further in town, you hear constantly shooting. No foreigner gets in or out of town. Our ultimate challenge meet Arafat is impossible here.
We decide to take other attempts to get into town because of the absolute danger.
Everybody expects an invasion of the Israeli-army in Gaza. It seems thus useful to investigate the situation. After a two-hours drive we reach the border, which will bring us on Palestinian territories.
Gaza can easily be described as a big concentration camp. The whole area is surrounded by high fences where nobody can get in nor out. The garbage isnt taken away for days and the roads are barricaded. The Palestinians tried to make a possible invasion more difficult this way.
A few days ago the Israelis themselves, broke up the most important communication road on several places, so you couldnt move from one side of the city to the other side.
People here are tensed of what might come, but also ready for fight.
Its clear that this place is a brewing nest for hard resistance.
A brief encounter with Hamas-leader Sjeik Yassine gives us a picture of the extreme part of the Palestinians. He said in the most formal way that it was out of the question that they ever would accept Israel as a State, we absolutely want to take distance from this statement.
As we left Gaza, it became clear again in what way Israelis treat Palestinians.
Some Palestinian man wanted to go home and the soldiers retained and deliberately provoked them by making them wait and wait and wait.
Tel Aviv Between hope and despair
We arrived just in time to participate in a peace-demonstration of Peace Now.
You can hardly speak of a mass-gathering but the demonstrators are hopeful.
This is the first march after the Israeli invasion and most Israelis are still very upset and angry about the suicide-attacks.
Whats more it seems most of the people stands behind the Sharon-policy.
Later on some Cafť terrace you can actually feel the existing fear for possible attempts.
This is something you cant possibly handle, youll never know exactly where or when to expect these attempts. This too is no life
1.Manifest violations on human rights
Blockade entrance of the Red Cross, half Moon and aid-services on the most stricken areas is probably a violation of the Geneva convention. Injured people can hardly get help, dead civilians can not find a final resting-place. There is a strong resembles with what happened in Sabra and Shatilla.
Belgium must without delay, postpone the Association-pact EU-Israel, which they ratified as last EU-member in due to the context of the clause in connection to respect the human rights. This clause was inserted on demand of the Senate.
Furthermore will the diplomatic relationship with Israel be postponed till the UN-resolutions 1402 and 1403 are completely and immediately fulfilled.
NGOs and political parties are to be mobilised to organize a voluntary consumers boycott for all products coming from Israel.
Especially products produced in the occupied territories.
3. Committee foreign affairs
At last we urge for an immediate assembling of the committee foreign affairs of the Senate after the important enunciations of minister Michel. This will allow the members op Parliament to propose suggestions, change ideas and ask questions.
Vincent Van Quickenborne