Israeli demolition of EU-funded Palestinian school is unacceptable, says EP delegation Chair
Following the demolition of EU-funded classrooms serving Palestinian children in Abu Nuwar, Neoklis Sylikiotis (GUE/NGL, CY), Chair of EP Delegation for relations with Palestine stated:
“I deplore the demolition by Israeli authorities of two classrooms serving 26 Palestinian school children in 3rd and 4th grade in the Bedouin and refugee community of Abu Nuwar,” Sylikiotis said.
On 4 February, Israeli authorities demolished the classrooms located in the outskirts of Jerusalem, in the so-called Area C of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The classrooms had been funded by the European Union and EU Member States.
“The demolitions are a clear violation of human rights, and of the rights of every child to access education. Israel has an obligation, under International Humanitarian Law, to ensure that schools are a safe space for children,” Sylikiotis said.
It was not the first time that assets funded by EU taxpayers’ money had been deliberately destroyed by Israeli authorities.
“During the Mission of the Delegation for relations with Palestine to Palestine in February 2017, we visited Khan Al-Ahmar, a Bedouin community that was under imminent threat of demolition whilst we were there. We protested and successfully prevented demolition of the EU-funded school of the community,” he said.
The demolition of the Abu Nuwar classrooms reflected the systematic demolition of property that was underway, in both East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
“Demolitions by Israeli authorities have a sole objective: to enlarge the settlements, expand the occupation and divide the West Bank. We strongly oppose all actions that are part of the annexation policy of Israel," Sylikiotis said.
“Structures like homes, water networks, agricultural and livelihood assets, latrines and animal shelters worth hundreds of thousands of euros, and all built with EU taxpayers’ money, continue to be demolished or seized by Israel each year. Israel must compensate the EU for property it has destroyed or confiscated.”
Sylikiotis said that “the European Parliament strongly supports the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, with an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable Palestinian state living side by side with Israel and with Jerusalem as the capital of both states, on the basis of the right to self-determination and full respect for international law. "