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EU expresses 'deep concern' over Israeli demolitions in Area C

Dec. 4, 2015 5:45 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 9, 2015 2:44 P.M.)
Correction appended.

JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- European Union missions on Friday reiterated a call for Israel to meet its obligations to Palestinians living in Area C of the occupied West Bank, where several demolitions have taken place in recent weeks.

The EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah expressed “deep concern, once again” for the violations in the Israeli-controlled area, a statement said.

On Thursday, Israeli authorities confiscated 10 tents donated to residents of al-Hadidiya village by aid groups.

The tents had been donated after Israel’s civil administration and military forces demolished Palestinian structures in the in the northern Jordan Valley.

Also in Jordan Valley, the village of Fasayil was issued demolition orders last month that would leave 46 Palestinians homeless, including 31 minors, whose homes have already been demolished several times over.

The missions demanded that all Area C demolitions be halted, and that confiscated humanitarian materials -- including shelter for both residents and livestock -- be returned.

The missions said that the confiscation of animal shelters by Israeli authorities comes at a particularly vulnerable time for residents as winter approaches, the majority of whom are herder communities whose livelihood depends on the well-being of their livestock.

Israel frequently demolishes dwellings of Palestinian communities living in Area C, as well as the temporary structures often donated to the displaced residents by humanitarian groups following such demolitions.

Nearly 600 Palestinian structures were destroyed in 2014, according to documentation by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), displacing over 1,000 Palestinians.

Israel has historically ignored EU requests to halt violations against Palestinians as well as demands to stop settlement expansion.

The behavior led the EU to decide last month to label goods produced in Israel's illegal settlements.

This version corrects that the 10 tents confiscated from al-Hadidiya were not donated by the International Committee of the Red Cross, as originally reported.
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