Ten European diplomatic missions in Jerusalem have jointly called on Israel to cease all confiscations and demolitions in the occupied West Bank. The missions, representing Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, and the European Union, issued a press statement expressing their concerns and demands.
In their statement, the diplomatic missions urged Israel, as the occupying power, to immediately halt all confiscations and demolitions in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. They also called for unimpeded access for humanitarian organizations operating in the region.
The missions specifically demanded that Israel either return or compensate for all humanitarian items funded by a consortium of donors. The estimated value of these items, which have been demolished, dismantled, or confiscated since 2015, is 1,291,000 EUR.
The recent demolition of a donor-funded school in Jubbet Adh Dhib was strongly condemned, and the impending demolitions of 57 schools in the West Bank, including the Khasem Al-Karem School in Hebron and the Ein Samiya School in Ramallah, were cited as grave concerns. The diplomatic missions expressed alarm at the forced displacement of the community in Ein Samiya due to settler violence and restrictive measures.
The statement highlighted the planned forcible transfer of over 1,100 Palestinians currently residing in Masafer Yatta, stressing the prohibition of such actions under International Humanitarian Law. The potential demolition of Khan al-Ahmar and the forcible transfer of 48 Palestinian families residing there were also emphasized as causes for concern.
The diplomatic missions strongly condemned settler violence and Israel’s failure to protect Palestinians and prosecute violent individuals. Recent incidents in Huwara, Burqa, and other locations were cited, and concerns were expressed regarding statements that could incite further violence. The missions noted that partners on the ground attributed increased settler violence to colonial settlement expansion.
Reiterating that Israeli settlements are illegal under International Law, the missions called on Israel to cease the policy of settlement expansion and to stop obstructing Palestinian development in the occupied West Bank.
This joint call from European diplomatic missions underscores the international community’s deep concern about the ongoing confiscations, demolitions, and settler violence in the occupied West Bank. The statements from these missions emphasize the urgent need for Israel to comply with international law and take steps toward a just and peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.