Friday, February 6, 2015

EU ‘is breaking international law’ by funding illegal West Bank building projects

Maja Kocijancic, a Brussels-based EU spokesperson, denied that this was happening. ‘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,’ she said. ‘To date, no construction has started yet under these programmes. The EU is not funding illegal projects.'When shown sequences of photographs showing construction taking place, she declined to comment. She also did not comment on an EU-Oxfam sign stating that the 'main activities' of construction work are 'rehabilitation and reclamation' of land.

A man in EU uniform threatens
Israeli soldiers and bystanders with
a rock on the West Bank in 2012

Jake Wallis Simons..
05 February '15..

The EU is acting illegally by funding unauthorised Palestinian building in areas placed under Israeli control by international law, say an NGO, international lawyers and MEPs.

More than 400 EU-funded Palestinian homes have been erected in Area C of the West Bank, which was placed under Israeli jurisdiction during the Oslo Accords – a part of international law to which the EU is a signatory.

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 the EU is using valuable resources to take sides in a foreign territorial dispute.
Official EU documentation reveals that the building project is intended to ‘pave the way for development and more authority of the PA over Area C (the Israeli area)’, which some experts say is an attempt to unilaterally affect facts on the ground.

Locally, the villages are known as the ‘EU Settlements’, and can be found in 17 locations around the West
Bank. They proudly fly the EU flag, and display hundreds of EU stickers and signs. Some also bear the logos of Oxfam and other NGOs, which have assisted in the projects.

Questions have also been asked about the conduct of EU workers in the region, after a picture emerged of a man in EU uniform threatening soldiers and bystanders with a rock outside a settlement in 2012. An EU spokesperson declined to comment on the picture.


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