Support for Terror by Belgian Ministry of Development Cooperation Employees
On May 21, 2021, the Belgian Ministry of Development Cooperation announced a commitment of €8 million in humanitarian aid to Gaza following the fighting that took place that month.
Disturbingly, some employees of this Ministry, responsible for reviewing, approving and distributing international aid, have previously expressed support for acts of violence and praised Palestinian terror on their social media accounts. Several of these government employees’ posts include violent and antisemitic imagery.
- Haneen Abu Nahla has served as Gaza Intervention Officer at Enabel (the Belgian international development agency) since 2020, and was previously employed as Gaza Field Officer at its predecessor, the Belgium Development Agency (2015-2020).In May, Nahla participated in an online discussion for humanitarian workers, hosted by Development Cooperation Minister Meryame Kitir, which was meant “to get a clear picture of current needs and see how we can effectively provide this assistance to the people.”
Throughout the course of the 2014 Gaza War, Nahla posted several cartoons supporting terrorism:
- On August 26, 2014, Nahla shared a cartoon of an armed combatant standing on the body on an Israel soldier with the text, “Today the victory was concluded.”
- On August 20, 2014, Nahla shared a cartoon of an M75 Hamas rocket, bearing text reading, “talk with him in the language he understands.” Alongside the cartoon, Nahla wrote, “always innovative, chivalry in effect.”
- On August 8, 2014, Nahla shared a cartoon of an Israeli soldier surrendering to a Hamas member with an M75 rocket, alongside a thought bubble reading, “Sign so I shall blind your lights with rockets.” The cartoon was captioned: “Gaza will win. The resistance’s conditions for a cease fire.” Nahla wrote, “God willing they will surrender and agree to the resistance’s conditions.”
- On July 15, 2014, Nahla shared a cartoon of an Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades member stomping on an Israeli soldier in Gaza.
- Catherine de Bock has held the position of “Spokesperson to Belgian Minister of Development Cooperation and Major Cities, Meryame Kitir” since July 2021. Previously, De Bock held the position of “Advisor for Humanitarian Affairs” at the Belgian Ministry of Development Cooperation (2020-2021). De Bock is also a former Oxfam-Solidarité employee (2015-2020).
In 2017, referring to two relatives who were killed in clashes with the IDF, De Bock wrote in a Facebook post,1 “Abu Ali died in the struggle for a free Palestine and so did his nephew Basel two days ago. It is our duty to continue their fight, enduring [sic] a better future for the Palestinian people.”
- “Abu Ali” is De Bock’s father in law,Ibrahim Mohammed Alaraj, a PFLP terrorist who was killed in 2002.
- “His nephew Basel” is Basel al-A’araj, killed in a firefight. He was arrested by the Palestinian Authority in April 2016 “for planning attacks against Israelis” and imprisoned for six months. According to Israeli officials, he “was allegedly part of a terrorist cell planning to carry out attacks on Israeli targets,” and he “directed the cell and was responsible for purchasing the weaponry.”