Belgium Slams Israel for Destruction of Belgian-Funded Palestinian Homes

Belgium Slams Israel for Destruction of Belgian-Funded Palestinian Homes

This picture reveals the damage wrought by Israel’s demolition of Palestinian structures in Khirbet Humsa Bedouin village.

Belgium has condemned the Israeli government’s demolition of Belgian-funded homes in occupied West Bank territories in Palestine and urged Israel to refrain from destroying Palestinian schools.

Four homes in al-Rakeez, in the occupied Palestinian Territories, were demolished by Israeli authorities in violation of humanitarian international laws, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said.

“This essential infrastructure was built with Belgian funding, as part of humanitarian aid implemented by the West Bank Protection Consortium. Our country asks Israel for compensation or restitution for these destructions,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry, which came under the leadership of former caretaker prime minister Sophie Wilmès in October, also expressed “particular concern” over Israeli authorities’ orders to demolish EU-funded schools in Israeli-controlled areas of the West Bank.

“Belgium calls on the Israeli authorities not to execute the demolition orders for the schools in Ras al-Tin, Jinba and Khirbet al-Fakheit, as well as to safeguard all 52 schools in the West Bank at risk of demolition.”

Belgium’s statement comes after the Israeli army on Tuesday razed an entire Palestinian village to the ground, leaving 73 people, including 41 children, homeless.

Israel claims that the destroyed structures had been erected illegally by Bedouin residents in a military live-fire zone. The residents had appealed to the Israeli High Court to cancel the demolition orders but the petition was rejected in 2019.

Described as “appalling” by Foreign Affairs, the destruction of the village drew international rebuke, with the United Nations describing it as the “largest forced displacement incident,” in the area in four years and the EU slamming Israel’s move as detrimental to peace efforts in the region.

The EU said in the statement that the demolition of the more than 70 structures on Tuesday confirmed a “regrettable” trend of land confiscations and demolitions by Israeli authorities observed throughout the year.

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