Sunday, June 3, 2018

EU demands Israel nix demolition of illegal Arab town - David Rosenberg

by David Rosenberg

European Union rips Israel over plans to remove illegal Bedouin settlement near Jerusalem, expand town of Maaleh Adumim.

The European Union demanded that Israel cancel plans to evict Bedouin squatters from illegally-erected structures just east of Jerusalem, and condemned a planned housing project in the area for the Israeli town of Maaleh Adumim.

Israeli authorities recently announced plans to demolish the Bedouin encampment known as Khan al-Ahmar.

The illegal community, which lies entirely in Area C under full Israeli control, was established without any building permits. The encampment is located in the strategically important E-1 area between Jerusalem and Maaleh Adumim, one of the largest Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria.

Israel also recently approved housing permits for 92 new units in Maaleh Adumim on the edge of E-1.

In a statement Thursday, the 28-member European body claimed the demolition of the unauthorized Bedouin encampment was “illegal”, and constituted a “forced transfer”.

“In line with our long-standing position on Israel’s settlement policy, illegal under international law, and actions taken in that context, such as forced transfers, evictions, demolitions and confiscations of homes, the EU expects the Israeli authorities to reconsider and reverse these decisions,” the statement read in part.

“These developments, alongside a number of other related actions taken in recent months, seriously undermine the viability of a negotiated two-state solution and the prospects for a lasting peace.”

“Building new settlements for Israelis while demolishing Palestinian homes in the same area will only further entrench a one-state reality of unequal rights, perpetual occupation and conflict.”

The European Union has in the past financed the construction of illegal Arab encampments in Judea and Samaria, and condemned Israel for the demolition of EU-backed illegal structures.

David Rosenberg


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