Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo condemn the demolition by Israeli authorities of a school in Area C of the occupied Palestinian territory, in Jubbet Ad-Dib, near Bethlehem, which had been financed by various international donors, including Belgium. This destruction follows the seizure on August 9th of solar panels in Area C of the occupied Palestinian territory, in the village of Abu Nwar. These solar panels, which had been financed by the Belgian Development Cooperation, supplied the premises and playground of another school.
These new demolitions and seizures of essential infrastructure are unacceptable: Belgium’s projects aim to meet humanitarian needs and are carried out in strict respect of international humanitarian law. By undermining such humanitarian projects, Israel contravenes its international obligations as an occupying power, in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. In addition to this, these latest incidents result directly in children being denied access to education, just before the start of the school year.
Belgium has taken many measures in order to avoid these seizures and demolitions and the Israeli authorities have been clearly reminded of the illegality of these acts. Explanations as well as compensation will be demanded from the Israeli Government. Belgium is not the only international donor affected by this kind of destruction. It will continue to work together with its partners, as in the past, to ask the Israeli authorities to end these demolitions.