An Israeli minister has said that a recent European Union law regarding the labelling of goods produced in Israeli settlements illegally built in the occupied Palestinian West Bank was a factor behind Tuesday’s bombing in the Belgium capital.
Ofir Akunis (image left), minister of science, technology and space, said that Europeans had lost sight of « terrorism of extremist Islam » by focusing on boycotting Israeli goods instead.
This supposed letting down of Europe’s guard had allowed an armed gang to strike at the heart of Europe with three bombings in Brussels, which killed at least 26 people, he inferred.
« Many in Europe have preferred to occupy themselves with the folly of condemning Israel, labelling products, and boycotts. In this time, underneath the nose of the continent’s citizens, thousands of extremist Islamic terror cells have grown, » Akunis wrote on Facebook.
« There were those who repressed and mocked whoever tried to give warning. There were those who underestimated. To our sorrow, the reality has struck the lives of dozens of innocent people. »
His reference to EU boycotts follows a decision by European MPs in Brussels for new guidelines regarding the labelling of products from Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
Israel has said that labelling the « origin of goods » from illegal settlements from occupied Palestinian territories was « unacceptable discrimination ».
« The terrorism of extremist Islam strikes all those who do not accept its authority, » Akunis added.
(Sincere condolences to the Belgian people and the families of the murdered, and a speedy recovery to the wounded. The terrorism of extremist Islam strikes all those who do not accept its authority)
He suggested Europeand refocused their attention on « Islamic extremism » to prevent further attacks.
His comments have been met with scorn on social media.