EU states demand Israel pay for demolished Palestinian schools

EU states demand Israel pay for demolished Palestinian schools
2 min read
19 October, 2017
Eight European states are reportedly preparing to demand compensation from Israel for the demolition of schools that the international body built for Palestinians.
Israel demolishes between dozens to hundreds of Palestinian structures every year [AFP]
Eight European Union member states are reportedly demanding that Israel pay them back for demolishing and confiscating Palestinian buildings in the occupied West Bank.

The buildings were constructed by the international body for the benefit of Palestinian Bedouin living in the area.

According to Israel's Haaretz newspaper, which quoted a report by France's Le Monde, a letter from the eight countries will be Israel's Foreign Ministry in the coming days.

The group of eight is led by Belgium and includes France, Spain, Sweden, Luxembourg, Italy, Ireland and Denmark.

They are reportedly demanding that Israel return the confiscated equipment or pay 30,000 Euros.

"The destruction and confiscation of humanitarian equipment, including infrastructure for schools, and disrupting the transfer of humanitarian aid contradict Israel's commitments under international law and cause suffering for the Palestinian residents," Haaretz quoted the letter as saying.

The demand for compensation relates to the demolition of buildings that were being prepared as a kindergarten and a school in the village of Jabal al-Baba. Israeli authorities in the occupied area also confiscated solar panels that were meant for a school elsewhere in the West Bank.

Israel rejects the EU's provision of humanitarian aid to the Palestinian Bedouin living in 'Area C' of the West Bank and argues that the international body did not seek proper permission to build the structures.

The area is under full Israeli civil and security control.

The UN's humanitarian office, however, say that the "planning and zoning regime applied by the Israeli authorities, including the ways in which public land is allocated, makes it virtually impossible for Palestinians to obtain building permits in most of Area C."

According to Bimkom, an Israeli group that advocates for Palestinian construction rights, Israeli authorities demolish between dozens to hundreds of Palestinian structures in the occupied West Bank every year.