World

Palestinian Activist: Attacks in Brussels & Paris Underscore Need to Address Crisis in Syria

Tuesday’s attacks in Belgium came just four days after authorities in Brussels arrested Salah Abdeslam, a suspect in the November Paris attacks that killed 130 people.

Salah Abdeslam had fled to Brussels after the Paris attacks. After his arrest in a raid on Friday, the Belgian interior minister had warned the country was on the highest level of alert for a possible revenge attack. "I think the attacks today really underscore the urgent crisis and catastrophe that is taking place in Syria and the need for the international community to redouble its efforts to address in a serious way the civil war that is going on there that has really given rise, through the failure of the Syrian state, the vacuum of power that exists between Syria and Iraq, to this monster that we have come to know as ISIS, which has metastasized around the globe," says Yousef Munayyer, executive director of U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. We speak with Munayyer and Robert Freedman, visiting professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University and the former president of Baltimore Hebrew University.

 
Watch: Democracy Now! Interview with Munayyer and Robert Freedman

"These really are two very central targets," says Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director for Human Rights Watch and a native of Belgium. "The Schuman and Maelbeek stations are where most of the European bureaucrats get out of the metro to go to work, and these attacks took place just after 9:00, just as people were getting to the office, including my own colleagues at Human Rights Watch. They left the metro just minutes before these explosions took place. It certainly has shook Belgium to the core." We also speak with Bouckaert in Geneva for the latest.

Watch: As Twin Attacks Kill At Least 34 in Brussels, How Should Belgium and Europe Respond?

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