Dear Kateřina Konečná,

I am writing to you today to express my concerns about the increasing demolitions of Palestinian water structures in Area C.

As you are certainly aware, Palestinians living in Area C – the 61% of the West Bank that is under full Israeli control – suffer from a severe water and sanitation crisis. The destruction of essential facilities – such as water wells, cisterns, tanks, toilets and sanitary units – by the occupying Israeli authorities has increased at an alarming rate in recent years. Under International Humanitarian Law, such infrastructure is considered essential to the survival of the population and must be protected from destruction under any circumstances.

Furthermore, Israel has actively prevented the construction and maintenance of Palestinian water and sanitation infrastructure in Area C, through systematic denial of permits for any construction or rehabilitation of Palestinian infrastructure. In the last three years, 97% of Palestinian attempts to apply for construction permits in Area C were rejected. [1]

To meet their basic needs, Palestinians have no choice but to build essential structures such as toilets and rainwater harvesting cisterns without a permit. However, anything built without a permit – which is virtually impossible to obtain – is routinely demolished by Israel. These demolitions of essential structures are forcing Palestinians to flee, putting women and children at increased risk of illness, impeding the growth of Palestinian agriculture and preventing communities from practicing their livelihoods.

As a concerned citizen, I therefore urge you to:

  • Inquire what the European External Action Service (EEAS) is doing to ensure that Israel is held accountable for violations of International Humanitarian and Customary Law such as the demolition of civilian property, WASH infrastructure and the destruction and/or arbitrary denial or prevention of humanitarian relief.
  • Inquire why the European Union has so far failed to enforce its repeated calls on the Government of Israel, to immediately halt the demolition of Palestinian property and the destruction of wells and cisterns and confiscation and seizure of WASH infrastructure (including water tanks, toilets and sanitary units).
  • Inquire why the EEAS has not yet issued a proposal to ensure that the EU and its Member States request compensation for the demolition of infrastructure that has been funded by EU taxpayers.
  • Use all means to your disposal as a Member of the European Parliament to make enquiries and issue public statements challenging the legality of Israel’s demolitions and demolition orders of Palestinian water infrastructure, depriving Palestinians from their basic rights.

Best regards,
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