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Belgium’s Liege joins European boycott of Israel over apartheid

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The Belgian city of Liege has become the latest European city to sever ties with Israel over its treatment of Palestinians. The city council voted to suspend all relations with the Israeli authorities until they end their “apartheid, colonisation and military occupation” of Palestine.

The motion was introduced by the Belgian Workers’ Party (PTB), which accused Israel of violating the rights of the Palestinian people and international law. The motion also called for a national boycott of Israeli goods and services produced in the occupied territories and urged other cities to follow suit.

Liege is the third European city to adopt such measures, following Oslo and Barcelona. The Norwegian capital announced earlier this week that it would stop trading with companies that operate in the illegal Israeli settlements, which are considered war crimes under international law. The Spanish city of Barcelona cut its relations with Israel in February, after a petition by activists gathered more than 4,000 signatures.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), which advocates for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel, welcomed the decision by Liege and called on other cities to support the Palestinian struggle to “dismantle apartheid”. The BNC said that Israel’s policies of “divide, separate and rule” have been denounced by human rights groups such as B’Tselem and Human Rights Watch as apartheid.

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