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Press releaseJerusalem18 April 2018
European Union Heads of Cooperation in Jerusalem and Ramallah visited today projects and localities in Area C located in Jenin, north of the West Bank. The delegation was briefed on humanitarian and developmental projects funded by the EU, its Member States and like-minded partners supporting the Palestinian communities in the area.
The EU group started their visit in Bartaa' Al Sharqiah town where they were briefed by the Mayor, Ghassan Qabahah on the challenges facing the village and restraining the work of the Municipality. At the same meeting, representatives of the Ministry of Local Government briefed the group on the status of the master and cluster plans in light of the discussions with the Israel authorities.
In Bartaa' Al Sharqiah, the group also visited two on-going social infrastructure projects under the master plan approach. The first one is an internal road in Bartaa' Municipality which is funded under the EU-funded Area C Development Programme. The second project is the rehabilitation of agricultural roads that connect four small communities to their agricultural lands in the Bartaa’ cluster. This is part of the Community Resilience Development Programme, funded by Austria, Norway and Sweden.
The EU group then continued their visit to the villages of Abdallah Younis and Um Rihan. The representatives of the two village councils briefed the Heads of Cooperation on the social infrastructure projects funded by the EU and Denmark. They also visited the multipurpose building that was completed under the master plan approach.
The main aim of the actions implemented and supported by the European Union in Area C is to preserve the viability of a two state solution. At their meetings of July 2015 and January 2016, EU foreign ministers unanimously voiced their strong opposition to Israel's settlement policy and actions taken in this context, such as building the separation barrier beyond the 1967 line, demolitions and confiscation - including of EU funded projects - evictions, forced transfers including of Bedouins, illegal outposts and restrictions of movement and access. It urges Israel to end all settlement activity and to dismantle the outposts erected since March 2001, in line with prior obligations.
Area C is part of the occupied Palestinian territory and part of any viable future Palestinian state. All EU activity in the West Bank is fully in line with international humanitarian law. The EU provides humanitarian assistance to communities in need in Area C in accordance with the humanitarian imperative. The EU also works with the Palestinian Authority to develop Area C and support Palestinian communities.
For more information:
The Office of the European Union Representative
Shadi Othman (02 5415 867, 0599 673 958); Inas Abu Shirbi (02 541 5 859, 0599 673 957)