Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Israel to sell seized Palestinian property donated by EU

By J.J. Rhies - June 02, 2019
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [aid] [Israeli government] [Bedouin]

The Israeli military is in the process of auctioning confiscated Palestinian property that the European Union donated, according to the Guardian.

Israel tore down and seized “two school structures that had been consigned to Ibziq community; and two tents and three metal sheds to the al-Hadidiya community,” Shadi Othman, an EU spokesman in Jerusalem, said.

“EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah had called on Israeli authorities to return the confiscated items,” worth $17,100 USD, “to their intended beneficiaries without precondition as soon as possible,” Othman noted.

On 31 May, the Guardian reported that an advertisement was seen in the Israeli newspaper Maariv for the sale of the confiscated aid.

“A list of auction items, seen by the Guardian, showed dates, item numbers, locations and descriptions that matched the confiscated classroom structures. The sale also appeared to include material confiscated from Palestinians and Israeli settlers who built without authorisation,” the Guardian wrote.

Othman added that the EU asked the Israeli Coordination of Government Affairs in the Territories (COGAT) to return the confiscated structures, but COGAT never responded.

In October and November last year, when Israel expropriated the EU donations - including  “donor-funded classrooms” for 49 Palestinian schoolchildren grades one through six - the EU stated that it “call[s] on the Israeli authorities to rebuild the school structures in the same place without delay.”

“Every child has the right to access education and States have an obligation to protect, respect and fulfil this right, by ensuring that schools are inviolable safe spaces for children.”

“The EU calls upon the Israeli authorities to halt demolitions and confiscations of Palestinian houses and property, in accordance with its obligations as an occupying power under international humanitarian law, and to cease the policies of settlement construction and expansion, of designating land for exclusive Israeli use and of denying Palestinian development, all of which threaten the two-state solution.”

When the Guardian contacted the Civil Administration for comment, the office said it needed more time to respond.

The Times of Israel reported that “it is extremely difficult for Bedouin communities to obtain building permits in the West Bank.”

Israel began its occupation of the West Bank, which is illegal under international law, in 1967. Some 400,000 Israeli settlers now live in the occupied territory, also in contravention of international law.

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