France condemns the dismantling of educational facilities over the last few days by the Israeli authorities in Area C of the Palestinian Territories:
- a school was demolished on August 22 in the village of Jubbet adh Dhib;
- a kindergarten in the community of Jabal al Baba was destroyed on August 21;
- solar panels providing electricity to a school were confiscated on August 9 in the community of Abu Nuwar. The buildings of this school, which is funded by France, had also been confiscated in February 2016 just after they were built.
This destruction, which is contrary to international law, is all the more disturbing since it has notably taken place in the area known as E1 (between East Jerusalem and the settlement of the Ma’ale Adumim), which is of strategic importance for the viability of a future Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as the capital and for the two-state solution, to which France reaffirms its attachment.
Several of these structures were funded by European donors, including France. The latter have approached the Israeli authorities to secure the return of the confiscated property. These confiscations have also been repeatedly condemned by the EU.
We call on the Israeli authorities to return the confiscated property and to put an end to this destruction which forms part of their settlement policy in the West Bank and East Jerusalem: During the first six months of 2017, 259 structures were destroyed in Area C and in East Jerusalem, while the government has announced or approved plans to build more than 10,000 new homes since the beginning of 2017, i.e. more than three times as many as in 2016.