Middle East Monitor / October 16, 2021
Member of European Parliament Chris MacManus has asserted that the European Union (EU) cannot continue to remain silent as new data shows a sharp increase in the demolition of Palestinian homes by the Israeli occupation, Wafa News Agency reported on Friday.
“From January to August of this year, the Israeli authorities demolished or seized 118 Palestinian-owned structures across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem,” MacManus announced in a statement.
“This represents a 38 per cent increase when compared with the same period in 2020,” he said, pointing out that: “The data collected uses the term ‘structures’, but it must be realized that a significant number of these are family homes.”
He added: “The demolitions resulted in the displacement of 191 people, including 116 children. The destruction also included public buildings, leaving over 1,400 people without access to services.”
The MEP continued: “Israeli authorities try and hide behind the fact that the buildings did not have permission, but neglect to mention that only they have the authority to grant such permission and choose not to, which leaves Palestinian residents with no choice.”
MacManus stressed that “this is ethnic cleansing at its most basic level,” calling on EU leaders to stand up for the oppressed.
“Shockingly, the EU seeks to continue business as usual with Israel, ignoring the fact that on average at least fifteen of the structures demolished every month were built using EU funds,” he explained.
“In what other situation would it be considered reasonable to trade with a country that systematically undermines your efforts to help the oppressed? I have checked the data and some of this funding came from Ireland.”
According to MacManus, Israel’s actions: “Are designed to make the two-state solution unworkable, as they plant Israeli settlers throughout the area that is part of the internationally-recognized Palestinian state. All demolitions must be halted, and settlers should be ordered to leave the Palestinian territories they have illegally occupied in the West Bank.”
Concluding his statement, MacManus expressed: “I believe it is about time the EU stood up to Israel and made it perfectly clear that it is not prepared to acquiesce to the undermining of its work in Palestine. The EU must live up to its own rhetoric, that it stands for human rights and peace.”