Israel Demolishes EU-Funded Shelters in E. Beit al-Muqaddas

Israel Demolishes EU-Funded Shelters in E. Beit al-MuqaddasIsrael Demolishes EU-Funded Shelters in E. Beit al-Muqaddas

Israeli authorities on Tuesday demolished an EU-funded shelter in east Beit al-Muqaddas, the European Union said, denouncing the move.

“We condemn the demolition of temporary shelters funded by the European Union ... as part of its response to the needs of the affected communities,” an EU statement said.

EU funds have helped pay for some 200 temporary buildings used as shelters in villages inhabited by Bedouin communities in the West Bank, just outside east Beit al-Muqaddas, AFP reported.

Israel occupied Beit al-Muqaddas in 1967 and later annexed it, in a move never recognized by the international community.

The structures demolished on Tuesday were small metal constructions put up on the outskirts of Arab neighborhood Issawiya. The area was empty of residents following the demolition by bulldozer.

A spokeswoman for the Beit al-Muqaddas municipality said the process was initiated by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

An Israeli official claimed the structures were in a national park within the jurisdiction of the Beit al-Muqaddas municipality, which had been informed of the violation and demolished the structures.

Israeli authorities regularly demolish structures inhabited by the Bedouin in the West Bank, and have tried to move communities into housing planned by the state.

Activists say Israel is deliberately displacing the Bedouin in order to build settlements in the area of the West Bank just outside east Beit al-Muqaddas.

That effective annexation of a corridor running through the middle of the West Bank would make the creation of a neighboring Palestinian state impossible.