Israel must pay for demolishing EU-funded structures: Irish FM

Israel must pay for demolishing EU-funded structures: Irish FM
Ireland's foreign minister has reiterated earlier calls for Israel to pay compensation for destroying EU-funded structures in the occupied West Bank.
2 min read
24 January, 2023
Israel regularly destroys Palestinian infrastructure in the West Bank [Getty]

Israel should pay compensation for destroying European Union-funded structures in the occupied West Bank, Irish Foreign Minister Michael Martin said on Monday.

It comes ahead of a meeting with EU foreign ministers and another with Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh in Brussels.

One of the issues that will be discussed, is Israel's destruction of EU-funded Palestinian projects in the occupied West Bank, including solar panels.

"I don't think it is acceptable that on [an] ongoing basis, the European Union is contributing very significant aid to Palestinians and to Palestinian infrastructure for it to be habitually destroyed. It should be recompensed when that happens," Martin was quoted by the Palestinian news agency Wafa as saying.

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"We also believe that the ongoing settlement issue is not acceptable. In our view, it is unacceptable from the humanitarian perspective. It is provocative and it is not conducive to the two-state solution."

Martin stressed that Ireland supports a two-state solution "but the facts on the ground are making that very difficult".

Israel regularly demolishes Palestinian structures in the occupied West Bank to make way for Israeli settlements and land grabs. As well as houses, Israel has destroyed and confiscated EU-funded tent dwellings, livestock pens, and schools.

The EU does not recognise Israel's illegal settlements and in recent years contributed to a €15.2 million infrastructure project to counter Israeli annexation of Palestinian land.

Last year, the head of the EU's mission to the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Sven Kuhn von Burgsdorff, visited the sites of Israeli demolitions and said bloc would demand compensation.