Geneva (QNN)- A joint stake-out by several EU countries on the Middle East at the United Nations last September expressed the European states’ deep concern about Israel’s settlement activities and demolitions of Palestinian structures funded by the EU, reported AP.
The statement noted that “the period from March to August 2020 saw the highest average destruction rate in four years.”
In an unpublished policy memo sent directly by Euro-Med Monitor to European officials, including members of the European Parliament, the organization noted an even more alarming reality of “an escalated and accelerate Israeli destruction of EU-funded projects, compounded by a sharp decline in the number of EU-funded structures in Area C and East Jerusalem.”
Euro-Med monitor said it documented in 2019 a record high of 204 Palestinian structures that Israel demolished in East Jerusalem alone, representing a spike compared to previous years. Israel further demolished or seized 127 structures funded by international donors (mainly the EU and its member states) in East Jerusalem and Area C, twice as much as in 2018.
It added that simultaneously in 2019 “the number of internationally (mainly European) financed Palestinian projects shrank to only 12 compared to 75 in 2015.” The memo warned that this is “akin to penalizing Palestinians for the Israeli government’s destruction of European funded structures rather than standing up to Netanyahu’s government.”
The memo further noted that the EU and its member states have been adamant to hide the magnitude of damage their funded projects have been incurring in the oPt, and called on MEPs to investigate and publicly report on the issue.
MEP Margrete Auken, the vice-chair of the EP’s Delegation for relations with Palestine, fully acknowledged the Memo’s findings, expressed support for its recommendations, and vowed to question the European Commission over the issue. Other MEPs emphasized the need to stand up to this increasingly dangerous issue.
Euro-Med Monitor had complained last month to the UN Human Rights Council that the Israeli authorities has been subjecting its staff and chairman, Dr. Ramy Abdu, to harsh punitive measures, including restrictions on movement and operations and smear campaigns.