On May 16, the EU’s High Representative Josep Borrell said in a statement, “We are convinced that we need to work towards bringing a solution to the Palestinian issue and we reaffirm our position in support of a negotiated Two-State solution. For this to be possible, unilateral actions from either side should be avoided and, for sure, international law should be upheld.”
Yesterday, the EU announced it will support 16 new infrastructure projects for Palestinians in Area C.
The European Union, Denmark, and the Palestinian Authority launched today the implementation of a €5.8 million agreement to build 16 social and public infrastructure projects in Area C. This contribution represents a new package of the European Union Area C Development Programme in the West Bank.
This package is the fifth of its kind to serve public infrastructure projects in Area C. It will fund the completion of 16 social infrastructure projects in 15 localities across the West Bank benefiting over 24,000 Palestinian living in Area C. These projects include schools, roads, multipurpose buildings, water distribution networks, water reservoirs and rehabilitation of electricity networks. This contribution brings the total amount of the programme to €15.2 million intended to build 58 social infrastructure projects in 46 localities. The European Union Area C Programme is funded by the European Union and Member States.
Anyone see a contradiction here?
The EU claims to be against unilateral actions from either side – yet it supports, encourages and funds unilateral actions from the Palestinians.
Under the same international law that the EU pretends to care about, if Area C is legally considered to be occupied, Israel has the obligation – not the right, but the obligation – to administer the lands under the same laws that had been in place in the area previously. In this case it is a mix of Jordanian, British and Ottoman laws. Only Israel can legally issue permits for building.
The EU has every right to object that the permits are not given out fairly. But it has no right under the law to illegally build – unilaterally.
Meir Deutsch, Director General of the Regavim NGO that monitors and documents violations of law in the territories said, “The absurdity of today’s announcement would be laughable if it weren’t so insidious. Claiming, on the one hand, that it condemns unilateral steps, in the very same breath the statement outlines a host of projects that will create facts on the ground and lay the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state in Area C . In other words – we will not recognize any changes unless they are changes we make.”
Regavim added a further irony: “Oddly, the EU and its member states don’t find the housing, education, employment, water infrastructure or electricity grid in Areas A and B, the areas of Judea and Samaria under Palestinian Authority jurisdiction, worthy of similar investment.
Even more oddly, the EU seems unperturbed by the massive worldwide financial crisis caused by the corona pandemic and seems to have no qualms about diverting European taxpayers’ money to create new ‘villages’ in previously uninhabited areas of Judea and Samaria. “
Here are some EU-funded projects deliberately being built on IDF training grounds in Judea and Samaria (photos provided by Regavim.)
This is the definition of unilateralism – and land theft.