Oxfam welcomes Europe’s unprecedented criticism of the Israeli Government’s West Bank policies

International humanitarian agency Oxfam welcomes the unprecedented stance taken by EU Foreign Ministers, meeting in Brussels today, which strongly criticizes Israeli government policies towards ‘Area C’ of the occupied West Bank.

Demolition of Palestinian infrastructure by Israeli authorities, including EU-funded aid projects, such as water cisterns and animal shelters, has been on the rise [i], hindering Palestinian development and increasing the risk of displacement for already vulnerable communities.

Tidhar Wald, Oxfam’s EU humanitarian policy advisor, said:

"Europe has issued today a comprehensive rejection of successive Israeli government policies towards the occupied West Bank. As a humanitarian and development organisation present in the Occupied Palestinian Territory for over 50 years, Oxfam witnesses daily the impact that Israeli settlement expansion, building restrictions and demolitions have on the Palestinian communities we work with. Today’s criticism is a first step towards helping these communities claim their basic rights and can go a long way towards promoting the economic and social development that Palestinians desperately need.”

“We strongly welcome the EU Ministers’ bold stance, and the leadership shown by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, as it demonstrates Europe’s continued commitment to working towards a just and durable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. EU governments must now match words with action to make today’s recommendations a reality on the ground for the benefits of those most in need."

Contact information: 

In Brussels:  Angela Corbalan, Oxfam’s EU Media Lead, on + 32 (0) 473 56 22 60 or angela.corbalan@oxfaminternational.org

In Jerusalem: Willow Heske, Oxfam’s Media Lead OPTI on +972 (0) 597133646 or wheske@gmail.com

Notes to Editors

[i] According to the Displacement Working Group over 60 EU-funded structures have been destroyed since 2011 and over 110 are currently at risk of demolition.
[ii] Conclusions adopted by EU Foreign Ministers on the Middle East Peace Process: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/130195.pdf

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