EU to Israel: Demolishing Palestinian Homes in Area C Would Lead to 'Forced Transfer'

Ted Belman. This is a big sob story that distorts the facts and the law. These shacks shouldn’t have been built in the first place. The EU illegally built these shacks for the most part in a clandestine manner so Israel couldn’t stop them. The High Court of Israel approved the demolition orders. It is the EU that is acting illegally, not Israel.

A routine meeting between the Foreign Ministry’s director and the EU envoys last week turned into a sharp protest by the European states against Israel’s plan to demolish a Bedouin village.

By Barak Ravid, HAARETZ
Dwellings belongings to Bedouin are seen in Khan al-Ahmar village near the West Bank city of Jericho February 23, 2017.

The European Union is demanding that Israel stop demolishing Palestinian homes in Area C of the West Bank, and particularly in the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar near Ma’aleh Adumim, since this would entail forced transfer of the residents and be a violation of the Geneva Convention.

According to Israeli and European diplomats, the sharp message in the name of all EU members was delivered last week by EU Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen to new Foreign Ministry director-general Yuval Rotem.

The Israeli and European diplomats said that last week Rotem held his first meeting with the ambassadors of all the EU member states in Israel. The meeting, held in the Dan Hotel in Tel Aviv, was meant to be a routine briefing for the envoys, but it turned, at least at first, into a confrontation regarding government policies in Area C, where Israel has full civilian and security control.

Immediately after the meeting began, Faaborg-Andersen announced that he was taking advantage of the meeting to deliver a message that had been approved by the EU’s security and diplomacy commission, on which all 28 member states are represented. The document, obtained by Haaretz, is very strongly worded and describes Israel as an “occupying power.”

“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, including in particular provisions of the 4th Geneva Convention … and cause suffering to ordinary Palestinians,” says the document, which was read out loud by Faaborg-Andersen at the meeting.

EU envoy to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen.Moti Milrod
“We therefore call on Israel, as the occupying power, to meet its obligations vis-à-vis the Palestinian population in Area C, completely stop these demolitions and confiscations and allow full access of humanitarian assistance. We urge Israel to accelerate approvals of Palestinian master plans, halt forced transfers of population and demolitions of Palestinian housing and infrastructure; simplify administrative procedures to obtain building permits, ensure access to water and address humanitarian needs.”

Diplomats: Very tense atmosphere
According to diplomats who were present, Rotem was taken aback by the message. The atmosphere was very tense and Rotem cynically remarked, “That’s a great way to start a first meeting with the Foreign Ministry director-general.” Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon confirmed the delivery of the protest and the document by the European ambassadors, but said that the meeting itself was conducted in a businesslike fashion.

The EU and its member states have been expressing concern about Israeli policies in Area C for some time.

Nevertheless, the background to this protest was the delivery of demolition notices to all 42 homes in Khan al-Ahmar, located in the strategic area known as E1, which links Ma’aleh Adumin to Jerusalem. The EU fears that demolition of the village portends the construction of a new settlement at the site.

EU letter

[NOTE: The beginning and end of this letter appear in the HAARETZ article but couldn’t be copied]

Khan al-Amar’s residents live in temporary structures with no utilities. The Bedouin there and in the surrounding areas are among the poorest groups in the West Bank. Although all the structures in the village were erected illegally, the Civil Administration looked away for years. The village is the site of the “tire school,” a structure made of old tires that educates hundreds of pupils from several unrecognized Bedouin villages in the area. The school, built with Italian funding, has become a symbol of the Bedouin struggle against the village’s demolition.

Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, who visited Israel two weeks ago, raised the issue of the village’s demolition during his meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Alfano asked the premier to reconsider the demolition but his request was categorically rejected. “Just as we did not approve illegal building by Jews in Amona, so we will not allow illegal construction by Palestinians,” Netanyahu said.

The letter read by Faaborg-Andersen at the meeting with Rotem mentioned Khan al-Ahmar specifically, not least because Italy and some other countries helped fund the structures slated for demolition.

“Approximately 140 Palestine refugees who have been living in the community since the 1950s would face the risk of forced transfer,” Faaborg-Andersen read from the text. “In addition, 170 pupils at the school in Khan al-Ahmar, which also serves surrounding communities, would be left without access to education. We urge Israel not to undertake any demolitions in the community. The EU and EU member states are united in the view that Area C is of critical importance for the viability of a future Palestinian state.”

April 4, 2017 | Comments Off on EU to Israel: Demolishing Palestinian Homes in Area C Would Lead to 'Forced Transfer' | 62 views

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8 Comments / 0 Comments

  1. Of course, the EU is completely disengenuous. Their Orwellian spouting sounds like Soviet posturing during the Cold War. It’s about oil dependence, markets, anti-semitism, great-power jockeying with the U.S. out of pride, and fear of Muslim terror. For example, remember how it was exposed that Italy agreed to leave the PLO alone if they only attacked Jews in the ’70s. As they irrationally let more Muslims in out of political correctness. Even in the early 1800s, the West Europeans were willing to pay ransom to the Muslim Barbary pirates but we eventually went to war. Sniveling Eurotrash cowards. All countries and cultures are clearly not created equal. America and Israel First!

    I wonder if the new gas line being contemplated will make a difference.

    “EU nations, Israel eye world’s longest undersea gas pipeline
    Mediterranean, European countries see new gas pipeline as way to boost cooperation and boost supply.”

    Supposed to go online in 2025.

  2. @ Sebastien Zorn:

    Hi, Sebastien. I picked up on your

    “America and Israel First!”

    comment. I am convinced that YOUR heart is in a good place; but unfortunately, there seems to me much more to what you said, than a simple “U-rah-rah!” team spirit. Consider these things:

    The EU, which has for some time been taking an increasingly strident anti-Jewish and anti-Israel stance, has been separating itself from elements which once held it back: the UK, in both NATO and the EU; and the US, as leader of NATO and a potential partner with the EU through TTIP.

    We are witnessing today a divide in the Western World, not seen since World War II. The EU, ironically, is led by Germany, just as Hitler’s Europe was; and they are opposed by the “Five Eyes”, namely, the UK, US, Australia and possibly New Zealand and Canada. The last I read, the Kiwis seemed to be with us, in their quirky, Greenpeace sort of way, Australia seems to be with us as long as we take their wog boat people off their hands, and Canada is a problem. Even the UK is with us mainly because it desperately needs our friendship after breaking with the Germans.

    Israel is a strong US ally, by virtue of the fact that the rest of the world, including the UK, is ready to go after them with kitchen knives as soon as Uncle Sam looks the other way. The US can probably count on the friendship of Israel, more than than of any other country in the world.

    There is danger in the other direction, though: the US Republican party controls the Presidency, both houses of Congress, the vast majority of State and local governments and, after this week probably also the US Supreme Court; but we are in danger as a country, greater than any that I have seen in my lifetime — a lifetime that included race riots in our major cities in the 1960s; and the Antiwar, drug, music and religious revolution of the late ’60s and early ’70s.

    True, Trump controls governments and will control courts; but the press has not just gone against the government and society, as it did in the 60s and 70s; it has gone against truth and reality. Also, though the Republicans can rule with the “nuclear option” to overcome filibusters, they do not have sufficient votes in the Senate to ratify treaties. At a time when the entire international political infrastructure is being re-written, that could be a critical deficiency.

    We are also tens of trillions of dollars in debt, a debt we must now pay interest on out of taxpayer dollars; so it will not be as easy as we would like it to be, to rebuild our military that was so radically depleted under Obama. And as if all that were not enough, we are less than two years away from another election, which could undo much of the progress we will be able to make this year and next (though the exact opposite may actually happen; it’s in God’s hands).

    A military split is happening in the West, with the EU nations wanting to pull out of NATO and form their own Alice-in-Wonderland make-believe defense force. This could be Putin’s wildest fantasy; and it could encourage smaller countries such as Iran and North Korea to become more assertive than ever. The Philippines has already caved in to China, seeing them as unbeatable; and South Korea’s new Liberal government might be tempted to do the same.

    All this leads up to a very, very dangerous world. Hurray for our team? US and Israel first? We may soon be hearing more martial chants, and the sound of Chinese jack-boots. What then? God help us!

  3. Sebastien,
    If ideology is causing the EU to allow the wretched poison to enter and upend the people’s way of life, ultimately leading its destruction, why would they get in line for our oil?

    BDS supersedes all for them.

  4. :
    The Arabs are illegally occupying the Land of Israel and other regions.

    This is a violation of the Geneva Convention, and needs to stop immediately.

    The EU should address this at once. Then it should tackle all the illegal occupations being perpetrated by its member countries.

    So even without bashing Israel for the land policies imposed by its crooked politicians, the European aristocrats could still have enough work to keep themselves busy.

  5. Ignore them and just sing:

    ” Imagine there’s no EU. It’s easy if you try.”

  6. “Just as we did not approve illegal building by Jews in Amona, so we will not allow illegal construction by Palestinians,” Netanyahu said.
    Where does this get off with comparing a village built with government sanction and then, for no clear reason, demolished, with an illegally erected bunch of huts built by a foreign country in Israel.
    We should all be up in arms about this unwarranted statement. Even if I side with BB most of the time, this is beyond the pale.

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