Israeli Government under pressure to reverse demolition orders and halt settlement expansion.
The EU has slammed recent Israeli activity in the occupied West Bank, saying it threatened to undermine the viability of a future Palestinian state.
Alyn Smith MEP, SNP member of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, has strongly condemned last week's demolitions of Palestinian homes near the West Bank city of Hebron, some of which were constructed with EU funding.
A statement from the EU’s External Action Service was also issued in response to Israel declaring 154 hectares (380 acres) of land near Jericho in the West Bank as state land, with reported plans to build around 150 new residences for Israeli settlers.
“In the past weeks there have been a number of worrying developments in Area C and I’m glad to see the EU reacting. Israeli watchdog B'Tselem estimated that around 40 Palestinian structures in the south Hebron hills had been marked by Israel's civil administration to be demolished, leaving many Palestinians homeless.
“Many of these homes were built using humanitarian assistance from international organizations, including the EU. I think it is only fair the EU not only criticizes Israel for its actions but also demands compensation from Israel for the demolition of buildings donated by the EU to Bedouin and Palestinians in the West Bank as part of its humanitarian aid.
“Demolitions, confiscation and forced transfers are banned under the international law and Israeli authorities are fully aware of it. They must face consequences for their actions. I’ve asked the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini to confirm the EU would seek to recover from Israel the value of projects destroyed by Israel in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, and I will continue to make the case for the compensation.”
Statement by the Spokesperson on the latest developments in Area C of the occupied Palestinian territory can be found here: http://www.eeas.europa.eu/statements-eeas/2016/160206_02_en.htm