Irish Government demand for compensation from Israel praised by Palestinian rights campaigners
The Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) today welcomed news in the Israeli press that Ireland is one of eight EU countries demanding compensation from Israel for the destruction and theft of EU-funded humanitarian infrastructure in occupied Palestine.
A report in Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz noted that: “Eight European Union countries wrote an official protest letter to Israel, demanding over €30,000 ($35,400) in compensation for confiscating and demolishing structures and infrastructure which the countries had built in Area C of the West Bank, which is under full Israeli control … Belgium was leading the move. The other countries involved in drafting the letter are France, Spain, Sweden, Luxembourg, Italy, Ireland and Denmark …
The countries were protesting the confiscation of solar panels they had installed in Bedouin communities and the demolition of mobile structures that were financed in various Bedouin communities to serve as classrooms.”
It is estimated that, between 2000 and 2016, Israel destroyed or confiscated some €65m worth of EU funded projects in Palestine.
IPSC Chairperson Fatin Al Tamimi praised the move saying “The IPSC welcomes this move by the Irish government and other EU states to finally make a concrete demand upon Israel for its ongoing crimes against the Palestinian people. We sincerely hope that Israel’s inevitable failure to return the items and pay compensation will result in concrete sanctions against this apartheid state that continues to colonise Palestinian land while the international community merely looks on repeating hollow platitudes about the need for a return to negotiations.”
Ms. Tamimi concluded saying, “It is beyond time for serious and meaningful action to punish Israel for its violations of international law and human rights abuses. We hope that this will be just the start of something bigger at EU level that would see Israel suspended from the EU-Israel Association agreement. This is something that would play a hugely positive role in helping my people achieve the freedom, justice, equality and peace that they have long been struggling for.”