EU representative says expulsion of Palestinians breaches Israel’s legal obligations 

Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff, head of the EU's mission to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (Said Khatib - AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  March 16, 2022

EU Representative Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff warned on Tuesday that the expulsion of Palestinian families in the Hebron Hills would be a breach of Israel’s obligations under international law.

“The residents, many of whom also exposed to settler violence, are at risk of forcible transfer,” von Burgsdorff tweeted. “Beyond a devastating impact on children, women and families, expulsion would be in breach of Israel’s obligations as the occupying power, a violation of international law and basic human rights.”

Burgsdorff explained that EU representatives, member states and like-minded countries attended Israel’s Supreme Court hearing on the permanent expulsion of more than 1,300 Palestinians from their homes in Masafer-Yatta in the South Hebron Hills.

The EU official said that he had also met with the father of Mohammed al-Halabi, the Gaza director of World Vision International, who has been in an Israeli prison for over five years awaiting a verdict. His detention was renewed for the twenty-third time on 22 February.

“By keeping Halabi in detention and refraining from issuing a verdict, Israeli authorities continue to violate international law, denying him a swift, fair and impartial judicial process,” tweeted von Burgsdorff. “Unless proven guilty, Halabi should be released now.”