The European Union has lambasted Israel for its apparent plans to sell humanitarian aid given to inhabitants of Bedouin villages in Palestine’s occupied West Bank.
Shadi Othman, EU’s spokesman in Jerusalem, said on Friday that COGAT, a unit in Israel’s ministry of military affairs that oversees civilian activities in the Palestinian territories, would put up EU-donated aid for auction within days.
The supplies include “two school structures that had been consigned to Ibziq community, and two tents and three metal sheds to the al-Hadidiya community,” Othman said, adding that the aid, worth 15,320 euros ($17,100), had been confiscated by Israeli authorities in October and November last year.
On May 6, COGAT published an advertisement in the Maariv newspaper, detailing the sale of “seized property” from the occupied West Bank.
“In the case where the owners of these seized assets have not proceeded to request the return of their property within 30 days of the publication of this notice, the assets will be sold,” the advertisement said.
However, Othman said that the EU made an official request for the return of the structures but received no response from the Israeli authorities.
The “EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah had called on Israeli authorities to return the confiscated items to their intended beneficiaries without precondition as soon as possible” or provide compensation, the spokesman added.
The European body often finances humanitarian structures in Bedouin villages, which are frequently seized by Israeli authorities who claim the necessary authorization has not been provided.
Israeli authorities have been carrying out forced evacuations against Bedouins since 1949.
The demolition of Bedouin homes by Israeli authorities, claiming that the residential structures have been built without the relevant building permits, is also part of the Israeli regime’s massive land grab policy, which will forcefully displace thousands of people.
It is nearly impossible for Bedouin communities to obtain building permits in the occupied West Bank.
Tel Aviv has so far refused to recognize the rights of Palestinian Bedouins and denies them access to basic services.
About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built illegally since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian lands.
Back in March, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said in a report that Israel had until then occupied more than 85 percent, or some 27,000 square kilometers, of the historical territories of Palestine in an expropriation process that continues