EU denounces Israel’s West Bank demolitions policy

By Reuters – Apr 05,2017 – JORDAN TIMES

 

A bedouin Palestinian girl carries a goat outside her family’s dwelling in Al Khan Al Ahmar village near the West Bank city of Jericho on February 23 (Reuters photo)

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — The European Union has expressed frustration with Israel over its demolition of Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank, with the EU ambassador taking the unusual step of reading out a joint statement denouncing the practice.

At a meeting last week with the Israeli foreign ministry’s newly appointed director general, the ambassador delivered a stern diplomatic message, saying Israel was failing in its international legal obligations and needed to change policy.

The issue came to a head after Israel issued demolition orders last month against 42 homes in the bedouin village of Khan Al Ahmar, east of Jerusalem, where EU member states Belgium and Italy have funded a school and helped build structures for the local population of around 150.

“The practice of enforcement measures such as forced transfers, evictions, demolitions and confiscations of homes and humanitarian assets [including EU-funded] and the obstruction of delivery of humanitarian assistance are contrary to Israel’s obligations under international law,” ambassador Lars Faaborg-Andersen said, with envoys from all EU member states present.

“We therefore call on Israel, as the occupying power, to meet its obligations vis-à-vis the Palestinian population…, completely stop these demolitions and confiscations and allow full access of humanitarian assistance.”

Faaborg-Andersen’s intervention was first reported by Israel’s Haaretz newspaper.

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