January 23, 2019

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EU continues to build illegal settlements – just to complain when Israel demolishes them


From the UN yesterday:

Statement by acting Humanitarian Coordinator for the oPt, Roberto Valent, on the Israeli authorities’ destruction of donor-funded classrooms in the Palestinian community of Abu Nuwar I am deeply concerned by the Israeli authorities’ demolition this morning of two donor-funded classrooms (3rd and 4th grade), serving 26 Palestinian school children in the Bedouin and refugee community of Abu Nuwar, located in Area C on the outskirts of Jerusalem. The demolition was carried out on grounds of lack of Israeli-issued permits, which are nearly impossible to obtain.
Abu Nuwar is one of the most vulnerable communities in need of humanitarian assistance in the occupied West Bank. The conditions it faces also represent those of many Palestinian communities, where a combination of Israeli policies and practices –including demolitions and restricted access to basic services, such as education – have created a coercive environment that violates the human rights of residents and generates a risk of forcible transfer. This is the sixth demolition or confiscation incident in Abu Nuwar school by the Israeli authorities since February 2016.

This means that for the past two years, every four months, the EU builds an illegal school building and Israel tears it down.

Does it sound like the EU really cares about educating the kids? They could arrange transportation to another school if they wanted, for example.

These games are clearly meant not to help Palestinians but to embarrass Israel, with photos of demolished buildings that they claim were schools that probably never had any classes.

Abu Nawar is located in the E1 section that connects Ma’ale Adumim with the rest of Jerusalem. That is really what this is all about – the international community is hell bent on stopping Israel from connecting the two.

There is some irony in the UN article backgrounder:

Abu Nuwar is a Palestinian Bedouin community in Area C, with approximately 670 Palestinian residents (88% refugees), part of whom reside in the community on a seasonal basis. The community is one of the 46 Bedouin communities in the central West Bank at-risk of forcible transfer because of the coercive environment exerted on them, including a “relocation” plan advanced by the Israeli authorities. It is also one of the 18 Palestinian Bedouin communities in the eastern Jerusalem governorate that are located in, or next to an area slated for the E1 settlement plan, aimed at creating a continuous built-up area between Ma’ale Adumim settlement and East Jerusalem. 

International humanitarian law prohibits the individual or mass forcible transfer of the population of an occupied territory regardless of the motive. Such transfer is a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention thus involving individual criminal responsibility. The destruction of property in an occupied territory is also prohibited, unless absolutely required for military operations.

Abu Nawar is not an ancient community. It was set up in the mid-1960s, and as this explains, it was a nomadic community where people moved there seasonally.

There is nothing in the Geneva Conventions that says that buildings built illegally cannot be destroyed. On the contrary, the occupying authorities are expected to enforce existing laws, and certainly Jordanian and Ottoman law would not tolerate the willy-nilly building of shacks on hills without any permission.

The irony is that the UN is saying what a terrible crime it is to relocate a few dozen families who are nomadic anyway, but it insists that over a half million Jews who have lived in the same area for decades (and many of whose ancestors lived there much longer) must be ethnically cleansed from the area they call “Palestine.”

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