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Elham AbolFateh

Middle East

IN FIRST، EUROPEAN COUNTRIES TO DEMAND ISRAEL PAY BACK FOR DEMOLISHED W. BANK STRUCTURES

Thursday 19/October/2017 - 07:20 PM
Sada El Balad
Edited by Ahmed Moamar
Eight member states of the EU are taking an unprecedented move by penning a letter demanding that Israel reimburse them for its decision to take apart infrastructures in the West Bank that were slated to serve as equipment for local schools (serving mostly the Beduin community)، France's daily Le Monde reported Wednesday night، as the Jerusalem Post said. 
The eight countries also expressed their dismay with Israel's confiscation of solar panels that were paid for by the EU headquarters in the West Bank.
The structures that Israel had taken apart، the letter claims، were all designated to serve residents of the mixed Israeli-Palestinian Area C in the territories، and the Israeli government opted to remove them due to the fact that they were not legally erected or commissioned. 
The signatory countries- France، Belgium، Italy، Spain، Sweden، Luxembourg and Ireland- are now demanding، according to Le Monde، that Israel pay them compensation should it decide not to return the equipment it confiscated. The compensation fee each country is demanding stands at 31،252 Euros. 
"We sincerely hope that our demands for restitution could be satisfied without preconditions as soon as possible، and should they not be [met]، Israel ought to pay compensation without delay،" wrote the EU member countries in the letter obtained by Le Monde. 
The letter is expected to be sent in the coming days to Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs، and continues to charge that "the practice of coercive measures such as demolitions and confiscations of humanitarian supplies as well as infrastructure for schools stands in the way of where the humanitarian aid [should go] and contradicts Israel's engagement according to the international point of view... It causes suffering to Palestinian civilians." 
In August، the EU bashed Israel for deciding to demolish illegal Palestinian school structures. It called on Israel at the time to "halt demolitions and confiscations of Palestinian houses and property in accordance with its obligations as an occupying power under international humanitarian law، and to cease the policy of settlement construction and expansion، of designation land for exclusive Israeli use and of denying Palestinian development."

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