France condemned this week the latest Israeli demolition and dismantling of French and European Union-funded Palestinian educational facilities in Area C of the occupied West Bank and called on Israel to return the property it had seized from these facilities.
A French Foreign Ministry spokesperson said the Israeli action was contrary to international law, expressing concern regarding Israeli plans behind these destructions and their impact on the creation of a viable Palestinian state.
Israel demolished on August 21 a kindergarten in the community of Jabal al Baba and the next day demolished a school in the village of Jubbet adh Dhib.
It also seized earlier in the month solar panels providing electricity to a school in the community of Abu Nuwar. The buildings of this school, which is funded by France, had also been confiscated in February 2016, just after they were built.
“This destruction, which is contrary to international law, is all the more disturbing since it has notably taken place in the area known as E1 (between East Jerusalem and the settlement of the Ma’ale Adumim), which is of strategic importance for the viability of a future Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as the capital and for the two-state solution, to which France reaffirms its attachment,” said the French spokesperson.
“Several of these structures were funded by European donors, including France. The latter have approached the Israeli authorities to secure the return of the confiscated property. These confiscations have also been repeatedly condemned by the EU.
“We call on the Israeli authorities to return the confiscated property and to put an end to this destruction which forms part of their settlement policy in the West Bank and East Jerusalem:”
During the first six months of this year, 259 Palestinian structures were destroyed in Area C and in East Jerusalem, while the Israeli government has announced or approved plans to build more than 10,000 new homes for Jewish settlers, more than three times as many as in 2016.