UK, EU warn Israel over West Bank evictions, demolitions

UK, EU warn Israel over West Bank evictions, demolitions
A child from a Beduin community holds on to some salvaged toys in the occupied West Bank on November 6, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 07 November 2020

UK, EU warn Israel over West Bank evictions, demolitions

UK, EU warn Israel over West Bank evictions, demolitions
  • British consulate spokesman cites “unnecessary suffering to Palestinians”
  • EU representative: Displacement contravenes international humanitarian law

LONDON: The UK and EU have warned Israel over its campaign to turn a West Bank region into a “firing zone for training exercises.”
Israel has faced increasing scrutiny in recent weeks after it pushed forward with evictions and demolitions across the West Bank.
Masafer Yatta is one of the poorest areas in the occupied Palestinian territory. Traditional shepherd villages and caves that make up the region rely on an NGO-funded water supply and solar panels.
Palestinian shepherds rejected Israel’s proposal of “part-time” living arrangements for residents.
Muhammad Moussa Abu Aram, a Masafer Yatta resident, said he dreaded being forced to leave his home, adding that “every aspect of life is difficult here” due to Israeli military activity.
Both the UK and EU have condemned Israel’s demolition campaign. Sven Kuhn von Burgsdorff, EU representative to Palestine, said during a recent visit to the region: “We call on Israel not to carry out demolitions in the communities, which are highly vulnerable.”
He added: “Displacing the communities would be in contravention with Israel’s obligations as an occupying power under international humanitarian law.”
A British consulate spokesman in Jerusalem said: “Demolitions and evictions cause unnecessary suffering to Palestinians and damage the prospects of a two-state solution.”
Brussels and London have sent envoys to inspect recent Israeli actions in the area. Meanwhile, the UN announced on Thursday: “So far in 2020, 689 structures have been demolished across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.”
West Bank resident Yasser Abu Al-Kbash told America’s National Public Radio that the recent demolitions were deliberately timed.
“I am 99 percent certain this was taking advantage of the US elections. There were no journalists around,” he said.


Jordan urges Israel to stop undermining peace opportunities with Palestine

Updated 04 December 2020

Jordan urges Israel to stop undermining peace opportunities with Palestine

Jordan urges Israel to stop undermining peace opportunities with Palestine
  • Jordan was committed to its role to safeguard the holy sites in Jerusalem
  • Safadi was meeting his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi

cDUBAI: Israel should stop engaging in activities that undermine peace with Palestine, Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman Safadi said, reiterating the importance of the two-state solution in maintaining harmony in the region.

Safadi, who was meeting his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi at the King Hussein Bridge Border crossing on Thursday, said the Jewish country should stop provocations in the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, and that it should honor its commitments, state news agency Petra reported.

Jordan will continue its role to safeguard the holy sites in Jerusalem, he added.

Other issues were also discussed during the meeting, including allowing Jordan to provide additional electricity to the Palestinian National Authority, as well as easing restrictions on Jordanian exports to the West Bank.