Thursday

14th Dec 2017

NGOs highlight Israeli destruction of EU-funded projects

NGOs have highlighted Israel's ongoing campaign to ethnically cleanse occupied territories as EU ministers meet in Brussels to discuss the problem.

Data compiled by the European Commission, the UN and local activists shows that in the past year Israeli authorities demolished 22 water cisterns and 37 residential and agricultural structures funded by EU member states.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Armoured Israeli bulldozers in training near Gaza border (Photo: Israel Defence Forces)

They have also issued demolition orders and "stop-work" orders against a long list of other EU-funded schemes, including: 14 water cisterns; 34 water sanitation facilities; eight solar energy schemes; two schools and a medical centre.

In one example on 13 February, Israeli bulldozers damaged Polish-funded repair work to an ancient well in the "illegal" Palestinian village of El Rahawia in the West Bank at the same time as flattening the village itself and making 83 people homeless.

In another case on 23 April, the Israeli army destroyed two French-built Palestinian wells in the Hebron area prompting a public complaint by the French foreign ministry.

The commission estimates that Israel smashed up €49-million-worth of EU-funded projects in total in the 2001 to 2011 period.

EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday (14 May) are set to agree a three-page-long statement detailing complaints about displacements in the West Bank.

But Israeli-friendly member states - chiefly Italy and the Netherlands - have quashed suggestions by EU embassies in the region to impose penalties, such as blocking imports of Israeli-settler-made products or an EU visa ban on settler radicals.

The destruction of EU-funded projects is the tip of the iceberg.

According to the UN-linked NGO, the Displacement Working Group, Israel demolished 267 Palestinian structures in East Jerusalem and in the West Bank in the first four months of this year. It demolished 622 last year.

At the same time, it has legalised some 7,500 new housing units for Jewish settlers, while giving free rein to violent attacks by settlers against natives.

"The highest price is paid by vulnerable men, women, and children whose rights are violated as they are deprived of water," Ayman Rabi, from local NGO the Palestinian Hydrology Group, noted.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank after a war against neighbouring Arab states in 1967.

Its step-by-step resource-gobbling has seen the Palestinian population in the occupied Jordan Valley, for instance, go down from between 200,000 and 320,000 to 56,000 today. At the same time the Jewish population has gone up from 1,200 to 310,000.

Israeli soldiers earlier drove out hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in 1948. The refugees and their descendants still live in camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Syria and are forbidden from going home.

The Palestinians mark the 1948 events under the name "nakba" or "catastrophe" each 15 May. Last year, Israeli soldiers killed at least 14 of them when groups marched in protest to the Israeli border.

Interview

Palestine's UN upgrade coming back on EU agenda

The EU should get ready for Palestine's renewed push to upgrade its UN status and stop calling for "illusory" peace talks with Israel, a senior Palestinian politician has said.

Feature

Lebanon crisis overshadows EU aid for Syrian refugees

Lebanon hosts over one million Syrian refugees, and has received some €1bn in EU funds. Caught in a geo-political tug of war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Lebanon's domestic politics have cast a longer shadow over its Syrian 'guests'.

EU complicit in Libyan torture, says Amnesty

The EU and its members states have signed up to 'Faustian pact' with Libyan authorities in the their effort to prevent migrant and refugee boat departures towards Italy, says Amnesty International.

News in Brief

  1. Report: Pro-Kremlin trolls targeted Scottish referendum
  2. MEPs vote to allow phosphate additives in kebabs
  3. Babis government sworn in in Czech Republic
  4. Russia looks to crypto-currencies to evade EU sanctions
  5. Juncker embroiled in Luxembourg wire-tapping trial
  6. Kurz close to forming new Austrian right-wing government
  7. Ministers reach deal on fish quotas but overfishing continues
  8. UK parliament to vote on right to veto final Brexit deal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Heart NetworkCommissioner Andriukaitis' Address to EHN on the Occasion of Its 25th Anniversary
  2. ACCACFOs Risk Losing Relevance If They Do Not Embrace Technology
  3. UNICEFMake the Digital World Safer for Children & Increase Access for the Most Disadvantaged
  4. European Jewish CongressWelcomes Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and Calls on EU States to Follow Suit
  5. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Boost Innovation Cooperation Under Horizon 2020
  6. European Gaming & Betting AssociationJuncker’s "Political" Commission Leaves Gambling Reforms to the Court
  7. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Applauds U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital City
  8. EU2017EEEU Telecom Ministers Reached an Agreement on the 5G Roadmap
  9. European Friends of ArmeniaEU-Armenia Relations in the CEPA Era: What's Next?
  10. Mission of China to the EU16+1 Cooperation Injects New Vigour Into China-EU Ties
  11. EPSUEU Blacklist of Tax Havens Is a Sham
  12. EU2017EERole of Culture in Building Cohesive Societies in Europe

Latest News

  1. Tusk migration note prompts institutional 'hysteria'
  2. Migration looms over summit, as Africa pledges fall short
  3. Brits in EU-27 are uncertain, alone and far from protected
  4. 2018 fishing quotas agreed - but Brexit muddies waters
  5. Medical HQ to spearhead EU military push
  6. Facebook to shift ad revenue away from Ireland
  7. EU renews glyphosate approval, pledges transparency
  8. Romania searching for EU respectability