EU Requests Compensation from Israel for Demolition of European-Funded Palestinian Structures

Israeli forces demolished a donor-funded school in the Masafer Yatta area. (Photo: via Issa Amro TW Page)

European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic said last weekend that Israel must pay reparations for European-funded structures it demolished in the West Bank, Israeli media reported.

According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Lenarcic’s written statement followed a letter penned by 24 European Parliament members to the Crisis Management Commission, demanding that Israel compensate the European bloc for the loss of EU taxpayer money.

“In financial terms, Israel did not shoulder the consequences for the illegal demolitions and the violations of human rights,” read the letter, according to Haaretz.

In his response, Lenarcic stated that the EU has consistently condemned “Israel’s settlement policy and illegal actions taken in this context.” He added that the bloc has repeatedly requested that Israel “return, or compensate for, EU-funded assets that have been demolished, dismantled or confiscated.”

However, the commissioner admitted that “a list of possible options to secure compensation from Israel for EU funding lost in demolitions” has yet to come up for discussion in the Council of Europe.

“It is for the Council, acting by unanimity, to decide on the possible adoption of EU restrictive measures,” Lenarcic concluded.

According to the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in the first eight months of 2022, over 700 people were displaced after Israeli authorities demolished, seized, or forced others to demolish a total of 590 Palestinian-owned structures across the West Bank.

In July and August alone, Israel tore down some 202 structures, 29 of which had been provided as donor-funded humanitarian aid.


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