Tel Aviv, Ramallah – The European Union called on Israel to stop its demolition of Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank, describing the forcible transfer of Palestinians as a blatant violation to the Geneva Convention.
European and Israeli diplomats reported on Tuesday that during a meeting last week with the Israeli foreign ministry’s newly appointed director-general, the EU ambassador to Israel sharply criticized Israel’s failure to abide by its international legal obligations.
“The practice of enforcement measures such as forced transfers, evictions, demolitions and confiscations of homes and humanitarian assets (including EU-funded) and the obstruction of delivery of humanitarian assistance are contrary to Israel’s obligations under international law,” EU Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen said, in a joint EU statement delivered at the meeting.
“We therefore call on Israel, as the occupying power, to meet its obligations vis-à-vis the Palestinian population … completely stop these demolitions and confiscations and allow full access of humanitarian assistance,” the statement added.
Last month, Israel issued demolition orders against 42 homes in the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem, where EU member states Belgium and Italy have funded a school and helped build structures for the local population of around 150.
Delegations from European embassies have been conducting regular visits to Khan al-Ahmar to stress their concern over threats against the area.
“We’re not giving up,” said one EU diplomat, according to the Reuters news agency, commenting on efforts to stop demolitions.
On Tuesday, Israeli soldiers demolished fourteen apartments, in addition to an agricultural room and four walls, in Sheikh Anbar area, in Zaim village, east of occupied East Jerusalem, reportedly for being built without permits.
The demolished properties were three residential buildings of thirteen apartments; one of the buildings had two apartments; in addition to three-story and four-story buildings, each floor had two apartments.