By Yousef M. Aljamal – Gaza
A new report, published by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, has revealed that Israel destroyed about €65 million worth of EU-funded projects since 2011.
The report revealed that following the EU’s decision to label Israeli products produced in the West Bank settlements in 2015, “the number of EU-funded projects demolished or confiscated by Israel increased dramatically.”
In the first quarter of 2016, the report showed that the number of demolishes increased to 165 from an average of 50 during 2012-2015. OCHA, the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, has documented 120 demolitions against EU-funded buildings in the first quarter of the year, according to the report.
— OCHA oPt (Palestine) (@ochaopt) June 5, 2016
Dr. Ramy Abdou, the chair of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor told the Palestine Chronicle, “The EU actions should be concrete to stop Israel from violating the rights of Palestinians. The EU measures should be strong enough to pressure Israel. Soft positions may give Israel a green light to continue its violations against Palestinians as well as the EU sovereignty.”
Euro-Med Monitor estimated that since 2001, the Israeli occupation authorities have destroyed some 150 development projects, which incurs the EU a financial loss of approximately €58 million out of the total €85 million worth of damage.
A team of researchers has collected the data for the report amid a lack of official statistics, which hindered their work. These obstacles were further strengthened, according to the report, by the silence of EU diplomats, some of whom spoke under the condition of anonymity to avoid embarrassment.
– Yousef M. Aljamal is the Palestine Chronicle Correspondent in the Gaza Strip.