Statement at Rafah border crossing
Prime Minister Alexander De Croo visited the Rafah border. He gave a press conference along with his Spanish counterpart Pedro Sanchez. Read his statement below.
My colleague Pedro and I have come with a message of solidarity and humanity.
On the other side of this border horrific fighting has taken place.
Too many civilians have been killed.
The first victims are always women and children.
Families have been torn apart.
Communities have been destroyed.
Israel has the right to defend its citizens.
The horror of Hamas is barbaric.
And Hamas needs to do everything to release all innocent hostages immediately.
Thirteen hostages will today be liberated.
But 13 hostages is not enough.
All the civilian hostages need to be released.
Please send them home now.
Hamas must end this cycle of violence it started on October 7.
The military operation that Israel is conducting to stop the terrorist attacks must respect international humanitarian law.
The killing of civilians needs to stop.
The violence needs to stop now.
Way too many people have died.
The destruction of Gaza is unacceptable.
We cannot accept a society is destroyed the way the society of Gaza is being destroyed.
We know the World Food Program has around 1300 tons of supplies ready to be delivered to the people of Gaza.
We are talking about medicines, water, food and other basic needs.
We have absolutely no time to waste during this ceasefire.
People have fled their homes.
They are living in very difficult circumstances and … winter is coming.
So we must do everything to get the help that is standing there to get into the other side of the border.
Egypt is doing all it can.
And really I would like to thank Egypt for its leadership.
But we cannot afford to lose time.
Belgium has upscaled its humanitarian aid.
We are sending medicines but also sleeping bags and hygiene kits.
We have additional planes coming in over the next days.
I believe our joint mission together with Pedro has an important message to give.
On behalf of the EU we have stated there is no military solution to this confict.
One day people will need to talk to eachother and a political solution is the only solution that is possible.
The talks need to be relaunched.
We need to stop the settler violence in the Westbank.
And we need to stop the killing of innocent people.
We need to respect international humanitarian law.
We must make sure that all parties abide by rules.
And indeed Pedro, we hope that the Peace Conference will take place as soon as possible.
The last words I want to address are to all of you.
There are hundreds of volunteers, that share the message that we bring here, a message of humanity and solidarity.
I can only hope that your motivation and what you are doing here as volunteers is being responded on the other side.
And the access is being given.
That millions of people that are in need in Gaza get the help that they need.
And as I said before, a temporary ceasefire is good. A permanent ceasefire is the objective and is the only way to prevent the killing of innocent people.
View my statement here