Border police remove an Israeli flag from a condemned building in Netiv Ha'avot.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The right-wing NGO Im Tirtzu blasted European governments on Wednesday for providing funds to leftwing organizations in Israel to help dismantle the Netiv Ha’avot neighborhood in Gush Etzion.
Im Tirtzu wrote in its newly released report that European countries have supported the Israeli left-wing NGOs Peace Now and Yesh Din with funds to wage legal actions against construction and ownership rights in the settlement.
The report said the groups “have received over 47 million shekels from foreign governments in the past several years.” According to the report, the European Union, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Belgium, Norway, Holland and Switzerland helped fund the legal campaign to dissolve the district in Netiv Ha’avot.
Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled in 2016
that 15 homes, a carpentry shop and a monument for fallen IDF soldiers had been built illegally on private land in Netiv Ha’avot.
After the ruling, Netiv Ha’avot residents protested the High Court ruling
to demolish the buildings outside of the Knesset in 2017.
The buildings are scheduled to be razed by March 6. The legal process started in 2008, when Peace Now filed a petition with the High Court challenging the neighborhood’s legal status. Peace Now claims the land is Palestinian.
According to a press statement from Im Tirtzu, the NGO “contends that this funding is part of an ongoing effort by European governments to undermine the policy of the Israeli government by means of anti-Zionist Israeli NGOs.” Im Tirtzu chairman Matan Peleg said, “It is inconceivable that European governments operate in Israel’s judicial system by means of radical anti-Israel NGOs, rather than going through the proper diplomatic channels.”
He added, “This European attempt to alter Israel’s internal policy not only harms Israeli sovereignty, but it is an affront to the Israeli public who democratically elected its government. This subversive activity and use of lawfare against Israel must end immediately.”