Monday

23rd Jan 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.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

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.

Kerry to EU: Believe in yourself

Outgoing US secretary of state gives EU short pep talk from Davos, hailing its peaceful and economic success. 'It's worked, folks', he said.

Moldova turns from EU to Russia

Moldova's president said he would like to scrap an EU treaty and has started preparations to join a Russia-led bloc.

News in Brief

  1. Sweden to host EU social summit
  2. US Congress may Trump-proof Russia sanctions
  3. Fury over UK 'cover up' of failed missile test
  4. Theresa May: I will not be afraid to stand up to Trump
  5. Brexit will destroy NI peace deal, says Gerry Adams
  6. EU housing price increase by 4.3%
  7. EU trade chief says UK deal will take 'couple of years'
  8. German defence spending boost not enough for Nato goal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Dialogue PlatformThe Influence of Turkish Politics in Europe After the Coup Attempt
  2. World VisionEU Urged to do Better Ahead of Helsinki Conference on Syria
  3. Caritas EuropaEU States to Join Pope Francis’s Appeal to Care for Migrant Children
  4. UNICEFNumber of Unaccompanied Children Arriving by sea to Italy Doubles in 2016
  5. Nordic Council of Ministers"Nordic Matters" Help Forge Closer Bonds Between the UK and the Nordic Region
  6. Computers, Privacy & Data ProtectionThe age of Intelligent Machines: join the Conference on 25-27 January 2017
  7. Martens CentreNo Better way to Lift Your Monday Blues Than to Gloss Over our Political Cartoons
  8. Dialogue PlatformThe Gulen Movement: An Islamic Response to Terror as a Global Challenge
  9. European Free AllianceMinority Rights and Autonomy are a European Normality
  10. Swedish EnterprisesHow to Create EU Competitiveness Post-Brexit? Seminar on January 24th
  11. European Jewish CongressSchulz to be Awarded the European Medal for Tolerance for his Stand Against Populism
  12. Nordic Council of Ministers"Adventures in Moominland" Kick Off Nordic Matters Festival in London

Latest News

  1. EU says milk protest 'difficult to understand'
  2. Future of euro on EU agenda This WEEK
  3. Pope warns populism could lead to 'saviours' like Hitler
  4. How the EU can protect the world’s forest by tackling corruption
  5. Leftist newcomer takes lead in French Socialist primary
  6. Far-right groups pledge allegiance ahead of elections
  7. Trump pledges US-first foreign policy
  8. GMO opt-out plan remains in waiting room