Berlin ‘regularly raises’ issue of Palestinian home razing with Israel

Germany along with many other countries in Europe have opposed such demolitions given that very few Palestinian building projects are authorized.

 Israeli troops take position during clashes between Palestinians and Israeli troops after Israeli machinery demolish a school near Bethlehem in the West Bank May 7, 2023 (photo credit: REUTERS/MUSSA QAWASMA)
Israeli troops take position during clashes between Palestinians and Israeli troops after Israeli machinery demolish a school near Bethlehem in the West Bank May 7, 2023
(photo credit: REUTERS/MUSSA QAWASMA)

Berlin “regularly raises’ the issue of IDF demolitions of illegal Palestinian structures with Israel, a German Foreign Ministry spokesperson Christoph Burgener said on Monday, after a small school was razed in the Gush Etzion region of the West Bank one day earlier.

“When schools are demolished, the right to education is hindered. We are fundamentally concerned about this,” Burgener explained.

"We regularly raise the issue of demolitions in the so-called target areas with the Israeli government,” he added, in discussing the conversations that have been taking place between German officials stationed in Tel Aviv with Israeli officials. 

The IDF’s Civil Administration demolished the small one-story school in the Palestinian village of Jubbet Adh Dib, adjacent to the Herodium National Park after the Jerusalem District Court ruled against the school in response to a petition by the right-wing group Regavim.

Opposition from EU countries

Germany along with many other countries in Europe have opposed such demolitions given that very few Palestinian building projects are authorized in Area C, which is under IDF military and civilian control.

Palestinian school built in the Barak Nature Preserve in Area C of the West Bank. (credit: REGAVIM)Palestinian school built in the Barak Nature Preserve in Area C of the West Bank. (credit: REGAVIM)

"We see such demolitions as an obstacle in the peace process,” said Burgener.

The European Union which helped fund this school, as a humanitarian measure, condemned the demotion on Sunday.

The UN’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland called on Monday for Israel to “cease such demolitions and evictions which are illegal under international law, and to approve plans for Palestinian communities to build legally in Area C to address their development needs, including for schools.”

He added that “currently, 58 schools, serving 6,500 children, face the threat of demolition due to a lack of building permits that are almost impossible for Palestinians to obtain.”