EU Warns Israel: Policy of Demolishing Palestinian Homes in Area C Will Harm Relations

Israeli official details tense and difficult meeting in which the EU expressed opposition to ‘home demolition and forced evacuation of populations.

By Barak Ravid, HAARETZ May 31, 2016 6:28 PM

The European Union sent a very harsh message to Israel a few days ago regarding the demolition of Palestinian structures in Area C of the West Bank, including some that were built with EU funding. In a meeting with the coordinator of activities in the territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai last week, the EU ambassador to Israel, Lars Faaborg Andersen, warned that a continuation of the massive demolition of Palestinian homes in the West Bank is liable to harm relations between the EU and Israel.

A senior Israel official, who was informed about details of the meeting, noted that it was tense and difficult. The official requested anonymity due to the diplomatic sensitivity of the issue. He said that the EU ambassador strongly protested the demolition and said that Israel’s policy is harming the weakest Palestinian populations.

Area C, which constitutes about 60 percent of the West Bank, is under full Israeli security and civilian control. The Palestinians and the international community consider the area as the main land reserve for the future Palestinian state. Israel for its part wants part of Area C, where the settlements are located, to remain in its hands.

The official said that the EU ambassador emphasized in the meeting with Mordechai that the organization and its 28 member countries believe that Israel’s demolishing of Palestinian homes in Area C is a serious blow to the two-state solution. “Public opinion in Europe is opposed to home demolition and forced evacuation of populations,” he said.

Since the start of 2016 there has been a significant increase in the activity of the Civil Administration against what Israel describes as illegal construction by Palestinians in Area C, especially construction funded by the EU. There were two reasons for the increase – heavy political pressure by right-wing MKs, headed by Moti Yogev and Bezalel Smotrich of Habayit Hayehudi, on the coordinator of activities in the territories, and an Israeli attempt to apply pressure and to adopt sanctions against the EU in response to the decision to label products from the settlements in the European supermarket chains. While the EU claims that the construction it funds in Area C is humanitarian assistance to Palestinian residents, Israel claims that it’s a political step designed to help the Palestinians to establish facts on the ground.

According to United Nations statistics, in all of 2015 Israel destroyed 75 buildings funded by the EU, and a total of 531 Palestinian structures. In the first four months of 2016 alone an identical number of EU-funded buildings were demolished, and about 591 Palestinian structures in all.

According to Dutch statistics, during 2015 damage totaling 206,000 euros was caused as a result of Israeli enforcement activities. In the first third of 2016 alone EU projects in Area C sustained damages totaling 210,000 euros as a result of Israeli activity. According to UN figures, 688 Palestinians remained homeless as a result of demolitions in 2015, compared to 808 in the first third of 2016.

The EU ambassador told Mordechai that it’s impossible to explain Israeli policy in Europe – on the one hand it destroys illegally constructed buildings and on the other it offers the Palestinians no possibility of building legally and fails to approve master plans and development for the Palestinians in Area C.

Faaborg-Andersen also discussed the Bedouin population in Area EI between Ma’aleh Adumim and Jerusalem. Israel carried out several demolitions there. The ambassador told Mordechai that Israeli activities leading to a forced transfer of a Bedouin population or a denial of its rights contradict international law and are not accepted in the EU.

The senior official said that following the complaints by the ambassador, Mordechai explained that Israel will continue to demolish illegal Palestinian construction in Area C. He also said that he himself and the Civil Administration are under criticism by MKs. He claimed that the Palestinian Authority encourages foreign countries and organizations to build in Area C, and especially in places considered strategic for Israel. It was agreed that their future would be decided in future negotiations. He said that the PA also pressures the Bedouin to oppose any compromise offer by Israel, thereby preventing a solution to the problem.

The ambassador’s harsh message comes on the backdrop of strong political pressure on EU Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini from a large group of members of the European Parliament who are demanding confrontation with Israel on the subject of the demolitions, and particularly of buidling funded by the EU. Three weeks ago Mogherini attending a special hearing on the subject in the EP plenum. She said that there are discussions among EU members about the possibility of demanding compensation from Israel for the destruction of buildings constructed with European money.

The EU has been conducting negotiations with Israel for several months on the subject of the demolitions in Area C. The Europeans demanded that Israel totally freeze the demoltions, espcially of European-financed buildings. The sides have yet to reach understandings and another meeting is scheduled in the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem on June 15.

May 31, 2016 | 7 Comments »

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  1. ‘Jerusalem was ours and will remain ours,’ PM saysIn Jerusalem Day Knesset session, Netanyahu rules out a return to pre-1967 divided city, slams ‘absurd’ UNESCO resolution
    Plans deferred for new Jewish building in Silwan after ‘political pressure’
    Government officials said to have intervened to prevent green light for homes in flashpoint East Jerusalem neighborhood

    😛 😛 😛
    “white man speaks with forked tongue”
    “talking out of two sides of the mouth at the same time”

  2. Expel the EU NGOs at once.
    Is IL controlling the borders or the Palestinians? Who allows the EU to build in J & S?

  3. Re state and republish the following if nothing else as a reminder:

    Martin Van Creveld, a prominent professor of military history at the prestigious Hebrew University in Jerusalem, told a Dutch magazine the following in 2002: “We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets for our air force.” He went on to say “Our armed forces, however, are not the thirtieth strongest in the world, but rather the second or third. We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under.” (The original interview appeared in the Dutch weekly magazine:Elsevier, 2002, no. 17, p. 52-53, April 27th, 2002).

    In 2002, David D. Perlmutter, a professor of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University and a senior fellow at the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs, wrote the following in a Los Angeles Times op-ed: ”What would serve the Jew-hating world better in repayment for thousands of years of massacres but a Nuclear Winter. Or invite all those tut-tutting European statesmen and peace activists to join us in the ovens?”

    Pamela Geller:
    She wrote in her blog: ”Israel is essential. And I pray dearly that in the ungodly event that Tehran or its jihadi proxies (Hez’ballah, Hamas etc) target Israel with a nuke, that she retaliate with everything she has at Tehran, Mecca, and Medina…. Not to mention Europe. They exterminated all their Jews, but that wasn’t enough. Those monsters then went on to import the next generation of Jew killers.”


    Alan Hart interviewed Golda Meir for the BBC’s Panorama programme in April 1971 and asked her “Prime Minister … You are saying that if ever Israel was in danger of being defeated on the battlefield, it would be prepared to take the region and even the whole world down with it?” Meir replied “Yes, that’s exactly what I am saying.”

    Note: The above quotes do not reflect even a small % of Israel’s upgraded and advanced military capabilities. Like 6 of the most modern conventional and silent running submarines equipped with Nuke cruise missiles…. They put essentially every corner of the world in play as potential targets. The EU should be put in their place and be reminded clearly that we have the power to destroy them all.

  4. here is a novel suggestion for dealing with liars and libelers against Israel and the Jews…in the press and politicians. its one thing to criticize in truth, but when you lie you deserve no protection. Lying eu politicians and the international lying press who daily lie about Israel perhaps should be dealt with like this…. after all its just a targeted assassination done under the table.

  5. Area C, which constitutes about 60 percent of the West Bank, is under full Israeli security and civilian control. The Palestinians and the international community consider the area as the main land reserve for the future Palestinian state.

    LOL, looks like the community forgot to read the LON mandate reserving lands west of Jordan river for a jewish state. Perhaps they have a form of dyslexia and got it reversed. However, netanyahu in his last 8 years has not only NEVER corrected them on their misunderstanding he also facilitated their illegal building of muslim homes on the land reserved for a Jewish state while obstructing Jewish building on those reserved lands. Go figure.

    While the EU claims that the construction it funds in Area C is humanitarian assistance to Palestinian residents, Israel claims that it’s a political step designed to help the Palestinians to establish facts on the ground.

    whatever it is it is breaking the law and the law is NOT being enforced by Netanyahu and the AG which would normally be as follows:
    1- perpetrators involved in the crime who do not have diplomatic immunity should be arrested, indicted, tried and punished… likely by jail time and deportation.
    2- perps with diplomatic immunity should be declared Persona Non Grata and demanded to immediately leave Israel.
    3- All organizations involved in the crime should be denied any future access to area C… it is a closed military zone.

    but the real question is why does the PM of Israel facilitate this illegal activity, intentionally, for 8 years to date? Is he pretending that he was unaware of those breaches during the 8 years or is he also a criminal deceiving the people of Israel?

    It is a grave insult to israel that the EU violates Israels sovereignty and then complains about a soft reaction. Such foul criminals should be bludgeoned to death in a gutter by unknown assailants.

  6. There’s a very simple solution that should satisfy everyone: The Palestinian Arabs and the EU stop illegally building and then Israel doesn’t have to demolish the illegal structures.