Hundreds of European Union-funded Palestinian homes, schools and other buildings have dotted the hills and valleys of Judea and Samaria – including Area C, the area placed under Israeli control by the Oslo Accords.
In fact, more than 400 Palestinian houses were illegally built with EU assistance in the area that is supposed to be under Israeli jurisdiction. The EU was a signatory to the international law designating the areas with their respective authorities.
No one has addressed the issue, which has been virtually ignored by the international community until Britain’s Daily Mail publication blasted the issue on its website, complete with incriminating photos and maps.
Jake Wallis Simons, writing for MailOnline, noted that all of the Palestinian buildings, “which have no permits, come at a cost of tens of millions of Euros in public money, a proportion of which comes from the British taxpayer.
“This has raised concerns that that EU is using valuable resources to take sides in a foreign territorial dispute.”
Wow. Points for bravery and sheer brazen audacity to you, Simons. Hope your site’s still standing next week, given the current trends in Europe and frankly, the UK.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu instructed Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to advance with plans to demolish the structures, Israeli media reported Friday. The order came a day after Simons posted his piece on The Mail’s website.
Some 17 such villages can be found in various locations around the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), flying the EU flag and displaying EU stickers and signs.
Brussels-based EU spokesperson Maja Kocijancic denied the construction was taking place, saying, “The EU’s funding will provide training and expertise to help the relevant Palestinian Authority (PA) ministries to plan and build new infrastructure and enable people to reclaim and rebuild their land there. To date, no construction has started yet under these programs. The EU is not funding illegal projects,” she claimed.
When presented with photograph documentation of the actual homes not only completed but those in process of being built, with the EU logos in place, however, the spokesperson declined to comment.
Shadi Othman, an on-site spokesperson for the EU in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, spoke with The Mail on the phone. He told the news outlet, “We support the Palestinian presence in Area C. Palestinian presence should not be limited to Areas A and B.
Map of illegal structures throughout Area C funded and/or built by the European Union. (Map: Regavim)
Othman made the situation crystal clear: “Area C is part of the occupied Palestinian territory which eventually will be Palestinian land. Palestinians have a right to live there, build schools there, have economic development. This is part of the work done to build the future Palestinian state which will live side by side with Israel. It’s an international and EU interest to protect the viability of the two-state solution.
And in case anyone had any doubts about where the EU’s bias lies – or why EU officials were in such a rush to meet with Israel’s opposition leader, Labor party chairman Isaac Herzog, this Saturday on the sidelines of the Munich security conference, consider the rest of Othman’s statement and its implications for the national security of Israeli citizens:
“If some people are complaining about this, we should not forget the illegal Israeli settlements that are built on occupied Palestinian territory and are illegal under international law and constitute an obstacle to peace.” (ed. note: italics added)
Hana Levi Julian