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Parliamentary questions
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16 September 2014
Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-005957/2014

The extent of the damages caused to EU-funded structures in the course of the recent escalation of violence in the Gaza Strip, is still to be determined. An assessment would need to be made when the conditions would allow so, before any claims could be lodged. It should be noted however that the greatest part of EU assistance to Gaza was not aimed at infrastructures.

Since May 2013, the EU has initiated a monthly incident-tracking system for EU-funded projects in Area C and East Jerusalem. According to this report, compiled by UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 122 donor-founded structures were demolished in 2013, including 51 founded by the EU and/or its members.

The European External Action Service and the Commission services are currently working to identify ways to best address Israeli demolitions of Union-founded projects, including potential claims for restitution or compensation. The goal of such work is that of promoting consistency and coherence of EU and its Member States in monitoring and reacting to projects at risk and ensuring a common response in such cases.

So far, a series of legal and political obstacles, such as the fact that the ownership of founded-structures is normally transferred to the final beneficiary and not retained by the EU, have prevented the EU form obtaining compensation. In its bilateral dialogue with Israel the EU has often raised the issue of the destruction of EU-funded structures and will continue to do so until a satisfactory solution to the problem is found.

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