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Dutch Church Group Walks Back Call for EU Sanctions Against Israel

Following an internal debate, a large Dutch church group retracted and apologized for its call for European Union (EU) sanctions against Israel. The Council of Churches, an umbrella of 18 churches and denominations, issued its unusual apology in a statement Thursday.

The group took back its letter from last month to Foreign Minister Stef Blok urging him to scrap trade deals between the European Union and Israel if Israel applies its civilian laws in Judea and Samaria, a move some call annexation.

“We’re sorry that the letter brought to the minister’s attention has led to concern and confusion,” the council wrote in the statement.

Had the Dutch Council written its own letter, the retraction read, “it would have conveyed more carefully the ideas we wanted to express.”

“We don’t wish to speak over specific sanctions or penal action, this is the responsibility of the political domain,” the statement said, although the council’s statement did reiterate its concern about what it called Israel’s “annexation plans.” (INN / VFI News)