NETHERLANDS – Former Dutch PM calls for Netanyahu to be tried for war crimes, as he lands for two-day diplomatic visit
I-24 NEWS – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Tuesday that The Netherlands will help Israel builf a gas pipeline to the Gaza Strip as part of efforts to boost energy and water supplies to the coastal enclave.
“We want to help the population of Gaza and the first step is to improve the supply of energy and water… including laying a gas pipeline,” Netanyahu said during a two-day visit to The Netherlands.
After holding talks with his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte, Netanyahu said his cabinet had already made a decision to lay the pipeline “and I appreciate your help in realizing this project.”
A feasibility study for the project has already been given Dutch backing, Rutte said during a joint press conference with Netanyahu.
The Netherlands would also facilitate expert meetings between Dutch, Israeli and Palestinian officials focusing on energy and water, Rutte said.
“The aim of these meetings is to improve the Palestinian economy, but equally it provides for a more fertile ground for political negotiations between the two parties,” the Dutch prime minister added. “I realize it’s not going to be easy, but we need to keep on moving,” he stressed.
Netanyahu is set to discuss expanding Dutch-Israeli ties with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and to meet with King Willem-Alexander, as well as visit the parliament, where he said he would discuss Israel as a “stable element” in the Mideast.
“Europe as a whole is undergoing changes,” he said. “It faces very great challenges over the spread of radical Islamic terrorism. I am going to speak with my interlocutors about the central role of Israel in the Middle East as the most stable element and one that contributes greatly to preventing the spread of radical Islamic terrorism. This is a new understanding; it is important, of course, for Israel and the states of the region but it is also very important for Europe. It is this understanding that we are working to instill gradually in all European countries.”
– Dutch ex-PM calls for war crimes prosecution –
Former Dutch prime minister Dries van Agt has called for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be tried for war crimes, as the latter landed in The Hague on Tuesday on a diplomatic visit, the Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA) reports.
Van Agt, 85, is a pro-Palestinian activist who in 2010 argued that a Jewish state should have been created in Germany rather than Israel, according to JTA.
He told the NPO 1 public television channel on Monday that “a war criminal coming to this country” and that Netanyahu should be sent to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
“The occupation and expansion… building of settlements, of occupied territory, this is according to the Rome Statute, which is… the setup… the statute on which the international criminal court is based, in so many words, a war crime,” JTA quoted Van Agt as saying. “So why should we receive someone who continues with such things, we could have sent him right away to the international criminal court, that would have been better.”
Van Agt also made a controversial statement in 1972, while serving as justice minister, that “I am only an Aryan” when speaking to a reporter about his plan to release Nazi prisoners for health reasons – later explaining that he intended to say that his goal would be difficult to accomplish because, he said, his Jewish predecessor had failed in his attempts to do so.
The former prime minister also drew criticism for repeatedly saying Israel uses excessive force, while he cast a deciding vote in favor of an armed takeover of a hijacked train in 1977, leading to the deaths of six terrorists and two hostages.
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