The European Union has condemned the Israeli destruction of Palestinian homes and structures in the occupied territories, saying the regime’s 2016 demolitions have left more than one thousand Palestinians homeless.
In a statement sent to reporters on Thursday, the EU said that its diplomats “deplore the demolitions of Palestinian structures undertaken by Israel in the occupied West Bank.”
EU officials said the Tel Aviv regime has destroyed 866 structures so far this year in Area C of the West Bank, which constitutes about 61 percent of the territory and is under full Israeli military control.
The demolitions have affected 5,704 Palestinians, “of whom 1,221 have been rendered homeless (including 586 children),” they noted, adding that about $563,000 worth of humanitarian structures provided by the EU have been either destroyed or confiscated by the occupation forces.
They further called on the Israel “to halt demolitions of Palestinian houses and property, in accordance with its obligations as an occupying power under international humanitarian law, and to cease the policy of settlement construction and expansion.”
International bodies and rights groups say Israel’s sustained demolitions of Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds are an attempt to uproot Palestinians from their native territories, and confiscate more land for the expansion of illegal settlements.
Over half a million Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.
The presence and continued expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine has created a major obstacle for the efforts to establish peace in the Middle East.