The European Union Representative issued a statement in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah expressing their concern over increasing demolitions by Israeli authorities targeting Palestinian structures in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 2020.
“These demolitions, including of EU and EU Member States-funded structures, have resulted in the displacement of Palestinians and negatively affected Palestinian communities”, said the EU missions in the statement.
“While welcoming Palestinian-Israeli cooperation to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the EU missions note with concern that demolitions have continued since the outbreak of the pandemic in early March”, it said. “Demolitions have also continued during the Holy Month of Ramadan, which saw a three-fold increase in the number of demolished structures compared to last year.
“Under international humanitarian law, the occupying power has a responsibility to ensure and maintain public health and hygiene in the occupied territory, as well as to adopt appropriate measures to combat the spread of contagious diseases and epidemics”, it added.
The EU missions urged the Israeli authorities to halt demolitions of Palestinian structures, in line with the EU’s long-standing position on Israel’s settlement policy – illegal under international law – and actions taken in that context, such as forced transfers, evictions, demolitions and confiscations of homes.