JERUSALEM, Friday, May 26, 2023 (WAFA) – Diplomatic missions in Jerusalem today called on Israel to halt all confiscations and demolitions in the occupied West Bank.
The consortium of missions urged, in a press statement, “Israel, as the occupying power, to halt all confiscations and demolitions and to give unimpeded access to humanitarian organisations in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.”
Members of the consortium included the Consulates General of Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, and the Representative Offices of Denmark, Finland, Germany and Ireland, as well as the Office of the European Union Representative to the West Bank and Gaza.
The diplomatic missions have called on Israel to “return or compensate for all humanitarian items funded by the consortium of donors. The total value of donor-funded items, which have been demolished, dismantled or confiscated since 2015, is estimated at 1,291,000 EUR.”
They have “strongly condemned the recent demolition of the donor-funded school in Jubbet Adh Dhib and expressed their grave concern about the threatened demolition of another 57 schools in the West Bank. These include the Khasem Al-Karem School in Hebron and the Ein Samiya School in Ramallah, the latter in a community forced to abandon their lands due to settler violence and harsh restrictions.”
In their communication with the occupation authorities, they raised “as a matter of great concern the planned forcible transfer of more than 1,100 affected Palestinians currently residing in Masafer Yatta” and underlined “the prohibition of forcible transfers in International Humanitarian Law”.
“Similar concern was expressed about the pending demolition of Khan al-Ahmar and the potential forcible transfer of the 48 Palestinian families living there,” the statement read.
“Condemning settler violence in the strongest terms, the diplomatic missions addressed Israel’s failure to protect Palestinians and prosecute violent ]Jewish supremacist[ settlers. Alarmed by recent incidents in Huwara, Burqa and elsewhere, the missions underlined their concern about continued and dangerous statements, which can incite further violence, and stressed that partners on the ground consider that ]colonial[ settlement expansion has resulted in increased settler violence,” it also read.
The missions reiterated that Israeli colonial “settlements are illegal under International Law” and called on Israel to “cease the policy of settlement expansion and of denying Palestinian development in the occupied West Bank.”