Thursday

13th Aug 2020

Israel man seeks EU money to fortify home

  • Man throws spent Qassam rocket casing near Sderot in Israel (Photo: davidkormanphoto)

A man with dual French and Israeli nationality is mounting a legal challenge to make the EU pay to fortify his home in Israel against rocket attack.

Eyal Katorza from the town of Sderot near Gaza has lost his job and in the past two years seen his mother's shop close down because of mortars and Qassam rockets, which hit the area on average three or four times a day despite official ceasefires.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The latest rocket landed near the Kibbutz Alumim on Sunday morning (9 August).

In an eight page draft legal petition obtained by EUobserver, Mr Katorza's lawyers say the EU is obliged to protect its citizens abroad under articles 3.5 and 20 of the EU treaty.

The petition calls for EU "reparations for lost job income, reparations for physical and psychological damages, reparations for property damages [and] monies for reinforced buildings against missiles or any other military projectiles."

It also accuses the EU of allowing aid to the occupied Palestinian territories to get "into the hands of persons and organisations who actually finance and perpetrate terrorism."

The petition urges member states to "stop the transfer of European money to Hamas and/or to any other organisations that are defined by the Israeli government as terrorist organisations."

Mr Katorza is represented by the Tzivin & Co law firm in Tel Aviv and by Hugo Coveliers & Roel Coveliers in Antwerp, Belgium.

The legal team, which has experience of international lawsuits, aims to file the petition with the European Commission in Brussels on Monday and to open a case at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg in 12 months' time if the commission does not act.

The lawyers have invited other EU citizens living in Israel - estimated at 300,000 people - to join the petition.

The EU in 2008 channeled €408 million in aid to the occupied territories under a programme which has attracted long-standing criticism from Jewish rights groups in Europe.

The bulk of the money is paid out via "Pegase" - a financial mechanism designed to make sure EU funds go directly to Palestinian medical workers or to keep power plants going, instead of being used for political or military purposes.

Column

Drums of war again, in Europe

Just a few weeks ago, as Europeans in several countries put their furious debates about masks and corona appsinto higher gear, Turkey and Greece almost came to blows in the Aegean Sea.

Minsk violence prompts talk of EU sanctions

Images of bloody injuries after police attacked protesters with batons and stun grenades marked Belarus' latest sham election, posing questions on EU sanctions.

Opinion

Schrems privacy ruling risks EU's ties to digital world

With more and more trade moving to the digital realm, Europe can ill-afford to cut itself off. Meanwhile, China continues to advance a vision for an internet that is fractured along national boundaries and controlled by governments.

Column

Drums of war again, in Europe

Just a few weeks ago, as Europeans in several countries put their furious debates about masks and corona appsinto higher gear, Turkey and Greece almost came to blows in the Aegean Sea.

Opinion

Schrems privacy ruling risks EU's ties to digital world

With more and more trade moving to the digital realm, Europe can ill-afford to cut itself off. Meanwhile, China continues to advance a vision for an internet that is fractured along national boundaries and controlled by governments.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNEW REPORT: Eight in ten people are concerned about climate change
  3. UNESDAHow reducing sugar and calories in soft drinks makes the healthier choice the easy choice
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersGreen energy to power Nordic start after Covid-19
  5. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us