West Bank settlements: Eight EU countries demand Israel pay for demolished Palestinian schools

EU states seek €30,000 in compensation

Samuel Osborne
Thursday 19 October 2017 11:46
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A class of Palestinian Bedouin children attend school outside after the Israeli Army forces dismantled prefabricated classrooms
A class of Palestinian Bedouin children attend school outside after the Israeli Army forces dismantled prefabricated classrooms

Eight European Union countries are demanding Israel compensate them for the demolition of new school facilities for Bedouin communities in the occupied West Bank.

A letter from the eight member states is expected to be delivered to Israel's Foreign Ministry in the coming days, the Haaretz newspaper reported.

Belgium is said to be leading the move, followed by France, Spain, Sweden, Luxembourg, Italy, Ireland and Denmark.

Man dies as Israeli forces attempt to seize him from hospital

In August, Israel demolished structures intended to serve as classrooms in various Bedouin communities and confiscated solar panels on another structure being used as a school.

Israeli officials said the buildings were constructed illegally, while Palestinian activists and EU diplomats countered that Israel makes it almost impossible to obtain building permission.

The letter, initially reported in France's Le Monde, said the eight countries would demand over €30,000 (£27,000) in compensation if Israel does not return the seized equipment.

“The destruction and confiscation of humanitarian equipment, including infrastructure for schools, and disrupting the transfer of humanitarian aid contradict Israel’s commitments under international law and cause suffering for the Palestinian residents," the letter said, according to Haaretz.

Israel will categorically reject the demand, the newspaper reported.

Last year saw the highest number of Israeli demolitions of Palestinian structures since rights groups began keeping records.

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