PH Quickie: Israel confiscates EU-donated Palestinian classrooms, plans to auction them off

Photograph: Aref Daraghmeh, B’Tselem

Photograph: Aref Daraghmeh, B’Tselem

The Guardian reports that Israel’s defense ministry plans to auction off two prefab classrooms that the EU donated to Palestinian schoolchildren.

The classrooms, intended for 49 elementary students in the Palestinian village of Ibziq.

Ha’aretz adds that the Israeli Civil Administration also confiscated three metal sheds and two tents from another Palestinian community, which are also on the auction block. Israel explained the all of the structures were built without permits, and hence were illegal.

The auction was to take place next week, but has been postponed for one month, during which Israel hopes “to negotiate a solution and head off further deterioration in diplomatic relations” between Israel and the EU.

Palestinian human rights lawyer and activist Farid al-Atrash told Mondoweiss.

What the Israelis have done, to confiscate these classrooms, is illegal. But to then go on and sell it, is reprehensible. It goes against all international human rights laws and norms.

The fact that the Israelis can go and confiscate EU-funded schools, and then go off and sell them, is testament to the fact that the Israelis fear no one in the international community, and feel they can get away with whatever they want.

The EU has donated hundreds of structures of this type to Palestinian communities.

According to Electronic Intifada, between 2001 and 2016, Israel “caused an estimated $74 million in destruction to EU-funded projects. That includes $26 million of destruction to EU projects during Israel’s 2014 assault on Gaza.”

But rather than contesting Israel’s illegal actions, EU donors have become hesitant to fund projects in the Occupied Territories.

Al-Atrash maintains that the world “can no longer just be an audience to the injustices committed by the occupation,” but must “hold them accountable in international courts.”