Dutch FM won't ask Israeli ambassador to explain killed Palestinian protesters

Stef Blok (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons). (Stef Blok (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons))

At this time Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs sees no reason to summon the Israeli ambassador for an explanation about the dozens of deaths and hundreds of wounded who fell during demonstrations on the Palestinian side of the Gaza Strip on Monday, he said to parliament on Tuesday, NU.nl reports. 

Blok said that he is appalled by the large number of deaths and injured in the demonstrations, but he does not want to draw conclusions yet. "A thorough investigation" must be done before conclusions are drawn. There are several sides to the events of Monday, he said. Blok pointed out that on the one hand Israel has the right to use force, but on the other hand it can be argued that excessive force was used. "We need more substantiation", the Minister said.

Part of the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, does not have any confidence in an investigation into Israel's actions during the demonstrations. They point out that the United States will block any independent investigations by the United Nations, according to NU.nl.

SP, PvdA, GroenLinks and government party D66 want the Israeli ambassador to be addressed on what happened on the Gaza strip on Monday. "Israel committed a massacre in open-air prison Gaza", D66 parliamentarian Sjoerd Sjoerdsma said, according to the newspaper.

SP parliamentarian Sadet Karabulut points out that the Israeli army opened fire on unarmed civilians. Protesters were shot in the back and there are children among the victims, according to the newspaper. She referred to Amnesty International, who called what happened "a war crime". According to the human rights organization, international agreements were violated, "excessive violence" was used, and Israel willfully murdered unarmed civilians. 

According to Karabulut, the government is hiding behind an unlikely investigation into the events of Monday so that no political position has to be taken and Israel's actions don't have to be condemned.