The European Union has called on Israel to halt its demolition of Palestinian structures in the West Bank after the IDF issued orders against three Palestinian herding communities.
“The EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah deplore the continuing threat of demolitions and seizures of Palestinian structures in the occupied West Bank,” it said in a statement issued over the weekend.
The EU took particular issue with a new IDF tool to evacuate illegal Palestinian villages, which it adapted from a measure initiated to help destroy settler outposts.
It was used for the first time this month against three Palestinian herding villages, including Ein al-Hilweh and Umm Jamaal in the Jordan Valley.
Last week, a similar order was issued against the community of Jabal al-Baba located just outside the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement, next to Jerusalem.
All three villages have appealed the orders to the Civil Administration and, if that fails, they plan to turn to the High Court of Justice.
The Left-wing group B’Tselem said that at issue was the fate of 414 people who live in these three communities.
“The state has found a new mechanism it hopes will enable it to circumvent such proceedings and accelerate the expulsion of residents,” it said.
The EU also spoke against the state’s declared intention to demolish some 20 structures in the illegal Palestinian village of Sussiya in the South Hebron Hills.
“As winter arrives, an imminent demolition [in Sussiya] will leave up to 100 people, half of them children, without shelter,” the EU said.
“Two European donor-funded schools in Wadi as Seeq and al-Muntar are presently under threat of destruction and seizure,” the EU said.
Right-wing politicians are in the midst of a protracted campaign to pressure the Civil Administration to tackle the issue of illegal Palestinian and Beduin construction in the West Bank.
The EU, the United Nations and left-wing groups have argued that the Civil Administration issues only a very small number of permits for Palestinian construction, leaving little option but for Palestinians to pursue illegal construction.