Israel 'won't pay compensation' for demolition of Belgian-funded Palestinian homes: report

Israel 'won't pay compensation' for demolition of Belgian-funded Palestinian homes: report
Belgium has asked Israel to compensate for four homes it has demolished in the occupied West Bank.
2 min read
09 November, 2020
The four homes were recently demolished in a village south of Hebron [Getty]
Israeli media outlets on Monday said it won't pay compensation demanded by Belgium for the demolition of Palestinian homes which were funded by the European state.
Belgium's foreign ministry recently condemned the destruction of the Brussels-funded homes in the occupied West Bank and demanded Israel pay "compensation or restitution for these destructions". 

According to Belgium, four homes were recently demolished in the village of Al-Rakeez, south of Hebron. 

"This essential infrastructure was built with Belgian funding, as part of humanitarian aid implemented by the West Bank Protection Consortium," the ministry said on Friday.

Responding to the Belgian statement, the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs told Israeli news agency Tazpit Press Service (TPS) that it will not pay the compensation.

Israel reportedly said "it is regrettable that European aid money finds its way to the financing of illegal activities".

Israel often claims the demolition of homes is 'legal', using the lack of permits as a justification. 

However, Israel retains near complete control including over matters such as planning and construction in Area C of the West Bank, where the village is located.

Construction permits are near impossible to obtain for the some 300,000 Palestinians living in larger Area C, which constitutes around 60 percent of the occupied West Bank.

Read also: Israel refuses to halt planned demolition of Palestinian school

Between 2010 and 2014, only 1.5 percent of all Palestinian building permit applications across the occupied West Bank were approved by Israel, according to the United Nations.

Israel's ministry instead said European countries should refrain from investments in the area if permits are not secured.

"Donor states should utilize their tax payer's money towards the funding of legal constructions and projects in territories that are controlled by Israel, and make sure those are planned and executed in accordance with the law and in coordination with the relevant Israeli authorities," the foreign ministry told TPS on Sunday.

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