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Statement by Minister Coveney on demolitions in the West Bank

Statement by Minister Coveney on demolitions in the West Bank

 

"I am deeply dismayed to learn of the demolition by Israeli authorities on 3 November of more than 70 structures, belonging to 11 Palestinian families in the community of Humsa Al Bqai’a* in the northern Jordan Valley. These demolitions include residential, livelihood and sanitation facilities.


Destruction of private property such as this is clearly prohibited under international humanitarian law, notably the Fourth Geneva Convention. Israel, as the occupying power, has clear obligations towards members of this community, including the 41 children impacted by the demolitions.


The eviction of families and demolition of their homes is a brutal and violent act. These most vulnerable of people should be protected by the occupation authorities, not subject to further injustice.

 

Ireland’s Representative Office in Ramallah visited the site of the demolitions today, along with other diplomatic representatives. Ireland, the EU, and the wider humanitarian community are ready to support those impacted. However, I reiterate my call on Israel to cease this practice and live up to its responsibility to protect local communities.


This week’s destruction of the Humsa Al Bqai’a community is a further acceleration of confiscations and demolitions this year, despite previous commitments from Israeli authorities not to target Palestinian residential structures during the Covid-19 pandemic.


I am also aware of the ongoing threat of demolition of Ras Al-Teen school, part of a Palestinian community in the West Bank, which has been co-funded by the EU and several EU Member States, including Ireland. Education is a basic human right that should be protected and maintained, especially ensuring children’s right to education in a safe and secure school environment.

 

It is deeply disappointing that Israel continues to carry out these reprehensible acts which are a grave breach of international humanitarian law."

 

 

ENDS
Press Office
6 November 2020

 

Note to Editors

*Also referred to as Khirbet Hamsa al-Foqa

 

 

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