Israel Demolishes Eight Bedouin Structures in West Bank Built With EU Funds

Civil Administration tears down buildings constructed in 2012 as living quarters without permits, according to sources.

Yotam Berger
Yotam Berger
Civil Administration workers demolishing Bedouin structures in the West Bank on Monday, October 10, 2016.
Civil Administration workers demolishing Bedouin structures in the West Bank on Monday, October 10, 2016.
Yotam Berger
Yotam Berger

Israel's Civil Administration demolished eight buildings on Monday belonging to Palestinians in the Mishor Adumim region of the West Bank.

Local Bedouin built the structures in 2012 as living quarters, without permits, according to sources familiar with the situation, and demolition orders were issued. The High Court of Justice rejected a petition against the demolition last month that was signed and circulated by residents.

The European Union helped fund the construction of some of the structures, and the EU symbol could be seen on the buildings in a video documenting Monday’s demolition.

The Bedouin, like the settlers in the Ma’ale Adumim area, have reported a recent rise in home demolitions of residences in the West Bank Bedouin community. Haaretz reported in August that the rise in demolitions had put a brake on Bedouin construction in the Mishor Adumim Region, which is in the center of the West Bank. In 2012, there were 412 structures in 12 Bedouin settlements along Highway 1, in the stretch between Mishor Adumim junction and Mitzpe Yericho. That number jumped to 729 in 2014, but grew more modestly to 771 this year.

EU officials stressed that previous support of Palestinian construction without permits was based on the notion that Israel was not issuing reasonable numbers of building permits to Bedouin in the area. According to EU data, Israel has approved just 44 Palestinian requests for building permits since 2000 in area C locations under full Israeli sovereignty, all between 2009 and 2013.

Civil Administration officials pointed out that the development of an area set aside for the Bedouin to live in was completed in March 2015. However, the area in question is very limited and does not allow them to live according to their lifestyle, and the infrastructure in it is unsuitable. The local residents assert that they are living in the same place they have been since before Israel conquered the West Bank in 1967.

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