EU rewards Israel for selling classrooms donated to Palestinians

Contruction equipment loads parts of a prefab building

Israeli occupation forces confiscate prefab classrooms in Ibziq, northern occupied West Bank, 23 October 2018.

Aref Daraghmeh B’Tselem

Last week, Israel announced that it would auction off two prefabricated buildings that had been donated to Palestinians by the European Union.

In October, Israeli occupation forces confiscated the structures that were part of a school for dozens of children in Ibziq, a community in the north of the occupied West Bank.

Israel’s brazenness generated consternation on social media. Even the EU’s foreign policy spokesperson Maja Kocijančič tweeted that the decision was “incredible.”

But when Kocijančič delivered the EU’s official response at a press briefing on Monday, she indicated that it would be business as usual: Israel can do as it likes and the EU will take it lying down.

“When the structures were seized last year – 23 October 2018 and 5 November 2018 – the EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah called on Israeli authorities ‘to return the confiscated items to their intended beneficiaries without pre-condition as soon as possible,’” Kocijančič said.

Otherwise, Israel was to “provide compensation without delay for the dismantled and confiscated assets.”

“The EU expects its investments in support of the Palestinian people to be protected from damage and destruction,” Kocijančič added.

But Israel hasn’t compensated the EU, rebuilt the schools, protected the EU’s “investments” – or the people of Ibziq who have been the targets of repeated Israeli attacks.

Instead, Israel has continued its widespread assault on Palestinian schools across the occupied West Bank, particularly in Area C.

Area C is the approximately 60 percent of the occupied West Bank that is still fully controlled by Israel under the Oslo accords signed in the 1990s.

The EU still believes this land will make up the bulk of a future Palestinian state even as it becomes clear that Israeli leaders, backed by the Trump administration, are moving towards annexing it to Israel.

Kocijančič did reaffirm that the place where the confiscation took place is occupied territory and that under international law Israel has “the obligation to protect and facilitate development for the local population, and to grant unimpeded access for humanitarian assistance.”

But there was no inkling that the EU would do anything either to enforce international law or to make Israel pay for its theft.

So I sent a follow-up question to Kocijančič asking, “Can you confirm that the EU plans to take no action whatsoever to hold Israel accountable for what it has done?”

“I can’t confirm something that I didn’t say,” Kocijančič replied. “Our position is very clear from my answer.”

The only thing that is clear is that the European Union will continue allowing Israel to shoot children dead in cold blood, demolish schools and build even more colonies on stolen Palestinian land, and the only thing Israel need fear is a few mild words of rebuke.

In the meantime, the EU will continue to lavish money on Israel and its war industry, sending a message that is clearly understood by Israel’s government: crime pays.

Indeed, as Kocijančič was delivering her empty statement on Israel’s theft of the school buildings, EU officials were welcoming an Israeli delegation in Brussels to “learn from each other in addressing common domestic and regional threats and challenges.”

Comments

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The European Union and the illegitimate Zionist entity are criminals. The EU is an accomplice (or accessory) and the illegitimate Zionist entity is the principal. No wonder the EU cling tighter and tighter with the illegitimate Zionist entity: birds of a feather.

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Every now and then a corrupt power acts in such a way as to generate an especially foul impression. In the case of Israel, it can be said that each of its crimes has a representative quality, any one of which expresses in full the nature of the Zionist enterprise. Yet even in that context, there's something truly disgusting about stealing classrooms from poor, stateless children and putting them up for auction. Still, with a bit of luck those units may end up back in the EU where they started their fruitless journey. And here's a suggestion- why not ship them to Germany, where they can be retooled as mini-Holocaust centers, to be planted in some mid-sized market town to remind the denizens there of what can ensue when man's inhumanity goes unchecked.

As for the European Union's flagrant support for apartheid, militarism and associated war crimes, when have bankers and bureaucrats refused to do business with like-minded figures wherever they find them?

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