Israel signals end to EU-funded unauthorised building in Area C

Will the government bring to an end the transport of EU funded prefab buildings to Area C where they are used for illegal building? Op-ed.

David Singer ,

Dry Bones - Area C, the EU and Bennett
Dry Bones - Area C, the EU and Bennett
: Y. Kirschen

Israel’s decision to evict all 53 Jewish families from the unauthorised settlement of Evyatar in the 'West Bank' (Judea\Samaria) this week should send a clear signal to the European Union (EU) that its days of financing and facilitating the building of unauthorised Arab structures in Area C of the 'West Bank'are over.

Area C comprises about 60% of the 'West Bank' and has been under Israel’s full security and administrative control since the 1995 Oslo Accords were signed.

The following Table shows the annual number of targeted structures funded by the EU and EU member states up to July-December 2019 including information about incurred financial losses:

C:\Users\dsing\Downloads\EU 3.jpg

According to the Daily Mail:

Locally, the villages are known as the ‘EU Settlements’, and can be found in 17 locations around the 'West Bank'.

They 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.”

Relief Web reported in February:

  • So far in 2021, the targeting of EU funded aid structures tripled compared with the monthly average in 2020
  • 47 EU-funded structures were targeted in February.

Professor Hillel Frisch in 2019 summarised what the EU has been up to:

“Ever since a decision in January 2012, the EU has been expressly committed to the expansion of illegal Palestinian settlement in Area C in conjunction with the PA . This is in blatant disregard of the Oslo accords, in which Area C is under full Israeli jurisdiction, and which the EU purports to uphold. The object is to create continuous Palestinian settlement throughout the 'West Bank' and thereby isolate and strangle Israeli communities.”

Professor Frisch detailed the genesis of the EU’s unlawful involvement in the 'West Bank':

“In July 2011, a report entitled “Area C and Palestinian State Building” was produced by the EU. It was then brought to the European Parliament in December and approved by the European Commission in early January 2012…

In April 2012, the PA’s Ministry of Local Government (MoLG) published a strategic action plan entitled “Planning Support for Palestinian Communities in Area C.” The EU announced its support for this plan in an official document published in 2012 called “Land Development and Access to Basic Infrastructure in Area C.”

By 2016, the European Community had spent a total of 10.5 million euros to draw up and implement zoning plans for 90 Palestinian Arab settlements and support land development projects in Area C in conjunction with the MoLG.”

Buildings – mainly modular in form – were transported to various areas during the night and erected by the next morning.

An apparently unauthorised Palestinian school located near Adam Junction in Area C - funded by the EU and flying the EU flag - is pictured below:

An apparently unauthorised Palestinian school funded by the EU flies the EU flag. It is located near Adam Junction, north of Jerusalem, in an area supposed to be under Israeli jurisdiction

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s declaration in January 2020 – made before he was elected Israel’s Prime Minister – should now set off alarm bells in the EU:

“Our objective is that within a short amount of time, and we will work for it, we will apply [Israeli] sovereignty to all of Area C, not just the settlements, not just this bloc or another… We are embarking on a real and immediate battle for the future of the land of Israel and the future of Area C"

The EU then responded:

"Demolitions and seizures of humanitarian assets are contrary to Israel's obligations under international law".

Representing these EU-funded structures as “humanitarian assets” was deceptive and misleading. They are “political structures aimed at stopping Israeli sovereignty being applied in Area C “.

EU intervention and meddling in Area C of the 'West Bank' over the last ten years will seemingly no longer be tolerated by Israel’s new Government.

Author’s note: The cartoon — commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators — whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades.