EU Demands Reparations From Israel for Demolition of European-funded Palestinian Structures

24 European Parliament members wrote to the EU's Commission for Crisis Management following Israel's intention to demolish dozens of houses in the West Bank villages of the Masafer Yatta area that were built with financial aid from the European Union or its member states

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
An Israeli army soldier stands guard as Israeli machinery demolishes a Palestinian house, in Masafer Yatta near Hebron, in the West Bank, July 25, 2022.
An Israeli army soldier stands guard as Israeli machinery demolishes a Palestinian house, in Masafer Yatta near Hebron, in the West Bank, July 25, 2022.Credit: MUSSA ISSA QAWASMA / REUTERS
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

The European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarcic, said this weekend that Israel must pay reparations for structures it demolishes in the West Bank that were built with EU funding.

Lenarcic's remarks were in response to 24 European Parliament members who contacted the commission following Israel's intention to demolish dozens of houses in the West Bank villages of the Masafer Yatta area that were built with financial aid from the European Union or its member states.

"The European Union has repeatedly requested that Israel compensate for the loss of European taxpayers' money," members of parliament wrote to Lenarcic, adding that the commission itself confessed that its diplomatic requests to Israel were ineffective.

"In financial terms, Israel did not shoulder the consequences for the illegal demolitions and the violations of human rights," the members of parliament wrote.

European Commissioner Janez Lenarcic at a news conference, in Brussels, Belgium November 17, 2022.Credit: JOHANNA GERON/REUTERS

Lenarcic responded that "in a number of incidents, Israel has been asked to return or compensate for assets financed by the Union that that were destroyed, dismantled, or confiscated," and that the European Union is continuing to work in this regard through a range of diplomatic and political channels.

The commissioner also said that representatives of the European Union often visit the area to warn against the demolition of the buildings and that "the commission follows all the demolitions and confiscations of buildings financed by donors, including properties financed by the European Union and the accompanying financial damage."

However, he added that "at this stage, the list of possible steps to ensure compensation from Israel for European financing that went down the drain in the demolitions has not yet come up for discussion" in the Council of Europe.

According to him, "the council should decide on the possible adoption of the means that the union will use" to ensure the compensation.

Some 1,000 Palestinian residents of Masafer Yatta live in eight villages. Israel declared the area a military firing zone more than two decades ago, after residents petitioned the High Court of Justice. At the heart of the petition is the Palestinian claim that they had lived there long before the area was declared a firing zone – which would make their eviction illegal.

In May, after a long legal struggle, the High Court accepted the state’s position and permitted the government to permanently evict the residents of Masafer Yatta from their homes. The ruling, written by Justice David Mintz, stated that there were no permanent homes in the area before it was declared a firing zone.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

הקלטות מעוז

Jewish Law Above All: Recordings Reveal Far-right MK's Plan to Turn Israel Into Theocracy

איתמר בן גביר

Why I’m Turning My Back on My Jewish Identity

Travelers looking at the Departures board at Ben Gurion Airport. The number of olim who later become yordim is unknown.

Down and Out: Why These New Immigrants Ended Up Leaving Israel

Beatrice Grannò and Simona Tabasco as Mia and Lucia in "The White Lotus."

The Reality Behind ‘The White Lotus’ Sex Work Fantasy

The Mossad hit team in Dubai. Exposed by dozens of security cameras

This ‘Dystopian’ Cyber Firm Could Have Saved Mossad Assassins From Exposure

מליאת הכנסת 28.12.22

Comeback Kid: How Netanyahu Took Back Power After 18 Months in Exile