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Israel demolishes EU-funded West Bank housing shelters
Published Saturday 12/04/2014 (updated) 14/04/2014 10:23
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(MaanImages/File/Rami Illariya)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israel has demolished several European Union-funded humanitarian housing shelters in a highly sensitive strip of West Bank land near Jerusalem, an EU official said Friday.

"On April 9, three of some 18 residential structures were demolished ... in Jabal al-Baba," an area outside the sprawling settlement of Maale Adumim, a spokesman for the EU's delegation to the Palestinian territories told AFP.

The tin huts, used to house Palestinians made homeless by severe winter weather at the beginning of the year, were "partially funded by EU member states," the official said.

Israel issued demolition orders on all 18 structures in February, the official said, and EU delegates "raised this with the Israeli authorities" both at that time of and after the demolitions.

The EU official said that there were ongoing discussions with Israeli authorities over the demolitions, but a report by EurActiv, a Brussels-based news service, said diplomats were demanding financial compensation.

"We should ask for compensation from Israel whenever EU-funded humanitarian aid projects are destroyed," EurActiv quoted an anonymous diplomat as saying.

Israel's military administration of the occupied Palestinian territories could not immediately comment on the demolitions.

The structures were located in E1, a highly contentious area in the West Bank east of Jerusalem.

Angela Godfrey-Goldstein, an advocacy officer of the Jahalin Association representing Palestinian Bedouin, condemned the demolitions, calling E1 "Obama's red line" for Israeli settlement construction.

Godfrey-Goldstein told Ma'an Wednesday that the demolitions were "presumably revenge" for the PLO's decision to apply for applying for accession to 15 international treaties in late March.

Demolitions in E1

But demolitions in the area are not a new phenomenon. Popular committee spokesman Hani Halabiya told Ma'an Wednesday that Israeli bulldozers had demolished seven structures in Jabal al-Baba the week before. Four structures were used as dwellings and three were cattle farms.

Israel is trying to displace the community of Jabal al-Baba to expand the nearby settlement of Maale Adumim, Halabiya told Ma'an.

Additionally, on March 12, Israeli bulldozers demolished a residential building, a car wash, and a shop in Jabal al-Baba.

Israel has been planning construction in E1 since the early 1990s but nothing has ever been built there due to heavy international pressure. Plans for building 1,200 units unveiled in December 2012 were quickly put on the back burner after the announcement triggered a major diplomatic backlash.

The PLO says construction in E1 would effectively cut the West Bank in two and prevent the creation of a contiguous Palestinian state.

Israel rarely grants Palestinians permits to build in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. It has demolished at least 27,000 Palestinian homes and structures since occupying the West Bank in 1967, according to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.

Ma'an staff contributed to this report.
1 ) Sarah / The Netherlands
12/04/2014 10:51
Thank you zioland, that's my tax money, given with love for Palestine. Shame on you! BTW Where is our money from the Gaza harbor you bombed? You still didn't pay back. But oke.... your price will come soon.

2 ) Julie / USA
12/04/2014 11:39
izrael's mutilated version of peace is to purposely make more enemies

12/04/2014 11:46
turns out the trueasurer of the EU does not like the way Palestinians run their finances: The report from the European Court of Auditors is a wake-up call on the need for stricter supervision of how EU funding to the Palestinian Authority is spent. The plenary of the European Parliament last week passed a resolution calling for greater transparency in EU aid to the Palestinian Authority. As chair of the European Parliament's Committee on Budgetary Control and a contributor to that resolution,

4 ) Maisie / UK
12/04/2014 12:47
No, no you Zionazis!!! This is the time you should be conducting a charm offensive, not Lebensraum exercises.

5 ) Dishonesty / EU
12/04/2014 15:18
- The EU interfered in an internal dispute, by funding construction "in a highly sensitive strip of West Bank land near Jerusalem", under a pretext of building "humanitarian housing shelters", and - Israel should demand an apology for the interference, and certainly Not pay compensation !!

6 ) Paul / USW
12/04/2014 18:26
Everyone with an lu ce of intelligence understands that the Palestinians and the EU are trying to claim the E1 land for the Plestinians by placing these so-called (totally misnamed) humanitarian structures on disputed land. And the E1 area in no way divides the West Bank on two which is nothing more than a canard put forth by Palestinians in their verbal salvos at Israel. Such canards, however, while pleasing perhaps to the far left media are one of the reasons the present peace talks will fail.

7 ) Maureen / Australia
12/04/2014 21:18
Cranky, nasty, wilful destroyer of peace, revisionist Zionism!

8 ) @ Sarah-1 / Plain & Simple
12/04/2014 21:58
-1- You should convince your leaders, to Stop Funding Both Illegal & Unpermitted Construction, or -2- your "tax money" will continue being wasted, and in fact Israel should fine the EU the cost of the demolitions !!

9 ) Paul / Canada
13/04/2014 00:06
Israel never ceases to find new ways of achieving a new low in its behavior toward powerless and vulnerable populations under its occupation. When Israel destroys shelters for the homeless and In the same breath shamelessly defends this behavior, one can only rationally say that Israel suffers from a collectively sick state of mind. This behavior is not only repugnant, it goes against the very ethos of life itself.

10 ) Paul / Canada
13/04/2014 00:08
Cont'd. Shame on the United States for building, funding, and Supporting Israel unconditi

11 ) Paul / Canada
13/04/2014 00:14
Cont'd Shame on the United States for building and supporting Israel unconditionally in its repression and brutality against people just trying to survive. Why is this story not covered by the BBC, CNN or anyone else??

12 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
13/04/2014 09:12
Yea, ahard to admit that the Pals abuse EU tax money every day of the year. No squawking from any commenters here when the EU-funded PLO arrests journalists, suppresses women or sets up monopolies for PLO leaders to get filty rich. Then of course there is the big E1 lie as well, along with the magic (yet still invisible) settler highway system and other fantasies dreamed up by the BDS fascists (you should hear what Norm Finklestein says about them - not pretty at all).

13 ) Carol Scheller / Switzerland
13/04/2014 11:15
Why indeed, Paul, and if the EU most likely once again refrains from reacting - why ?

14 ) Andy / UK
13/04/2014 16:06
Brian Cohen #12: Finkelstein has shown his true colours with regards the Palestinian struggle and the BDS movement. His allegiance to the Zionist cause has become obvious. BDS has already and will continue to hurt Israel and that is why Israel has drawn on all its assets to try to combat their increasing popularity. The Israeli government is terrified of them and US lawmakers are trying to create laws to make boycotting Israeli companies a criminal offence. Desperate measures indeed.

15 ) @ Maureen-7 / USA
14/04/2014 02:31
In 1948, 1967, & 1973, Israel was invaded by all its neighbors, and subsequently terrorized by the disgruntled war losers, which -1- might make any reasonable person seem "cranky & nasty", and -2- "willful" or not, there has never been any real "peace to destroy" !!
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