In recent days, Israeli forces confiscated and demolished a total of 46 structures belonging to Palestinian families in Hamsa al-Foqa in the northern Jordan Valley. This was the second time in which structures in the community were demolished following another major demolition carried out on 3 November 2020. Some 60 Palestinians, including 35 children, were displaced in the course of this latest incident. Structures funded by the EU and EU Member States were affected in both cases.
These large-scale demolitions confirm the regrettable trend of confiscations and demolitions seen throughout last year. They have continued despite the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, notwithstanding the obligations of Israel as the occupying power under international humanitarian law. The European Union reiterates its call to Israel to halt demolitions and the need to facilitate humanitarian access to the affected communities.
The EU recalls its firm opposition to Israel’s settlement policy and actions taken in that context, such as forced transfers, evictions, demolitions and confiscations of homes, which it sees as illegal under international law and as an impediment to a viable two-state solution. The EU also reiterates its call on the government of Israel to halt all continued settlement expansion, including in East Jerusalem and sensitive areas such as Har Homa, Givat Hamatos and E1.