Your own house and that of your neighbours have been razed to the ground. You are left homeless with your family in the mud because the tent you were forced to sleep in is confiscated, as was the previous one. Sadly, this is the reality for the people in Humsa, a Bedouin community in Area C, the parts of the West Bank that are directly controlled by Israel. Every time this Palestinian village is demolished by the Israeli army. Action is needed.
In 2020, a total of 849 buildings were demolished or confiscated in East Jerusalem and Area C. Many of these were paid for with European aid. For example, photos of the debris in Humsa clearly show logos of Ireland, Denmark, Belgium and Sweden, among others. A clinic, partly in Zanuta, a Palestinian village in the South Hebron Hills, has also received a sloop order. The clinic is partly funded by PAX. Mads Frilander, Country Director of PAX partner DCA / NCA in Palestine: “If the clinic is demolished, the residents of the community will lose access to the most effective healthcare. And that during a future pandemic. This is part of an alarming trend of widespread destruction in Area C in the West Bank. These are contrary to the basic principles of humanitarian law. “
The EU and several member states have repeatedly called on Israel to stop these practises, but to no avail. Israel does not seem to be taking any notice of the calls of the international community. The seizure in Humsa took place openly under the watchful eye of international diplomats. Stronger action is needed to contain this devastation.
Within the EU, the Netherlands need to push for concrete measures to put Israel under pressure and to stop the demolitions and confiscations. If no agreement is reached within the EU, the Netherlands must work with like-minded countries and use bilateral relations with Israel as an instrument. PAX also calls upon the Netherlands to continue to support the Palestinian communities in Area C. Not only financially, but also by visits and raising the situation in relevant international fora.