France, U.S. slam Israeli demolition plans of illegal structures


( The French and U.S. governments both condemned Israeli plans to demolish illegally built Palestinian structures in the West Bank.

In a statement on Thursday, the French foreign ministry said that it was the third time this year that Israel has torn-down French-financed structures, "which includes the dismantling of a school in February."

A Palestinian demonstration against Israeli demolition of the village of Susiya. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

"France is deeply concerned by the accelerated pace of demolitions and confiscations of humanitarian structures that should benefit the Palestinian population living in Area C," it added, AFP reported.

"We call on the Israeli authorities to put an end to these practices which are contrary to international law."

Under the 1994 Oslo Accords, Israel maintains full military and civilian control of Area C of the West Bank.

Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department added that it was also concerned about Israeli plans to demolish tiny Palestinian village of Susiya in the southern West Bank.

"If the Israeli government proceeds with demolitions in Susiya, it would be very troubling and would have a very damaging impact on the lives of the Palestinians living there who have already been displaced on other occasions," spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau told reporters.

However, according to Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the structures are being demolished because they were built without a permit.

“No request for building permits of the illegal structures had been received by their owners. They were invited to a committee to give them a chance to rectify the situation and gain permission but they failed to appear,” COGAT said, Reuters reported.

Posted on August 12, 2016 .