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Source: Belgium
2 October 2014

Didier Reynders condemns destruction of Belgian project in West Bank and demands compensation

date: 02 October 2014

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders condemns the destruction of a Belgian cooperation project in the Palestinian Territories. Israeli forces destroyed on 29 September part an electrical network financed by Belgium and implemented by the Belgian Technical Cooperation (BTC), in the village of Khirbet Al Taweel in the West Bank. The Minister summoned the Israeli Ambassador in Brussels today to ask for explanations. A demarche by the Belgian Ambassador will also take place in Tel Aviv after the Yom Kippur holiday.

This destruction of a humanitarian project has a direct impact on the population, complicating their access to water and economic activities, and is thus contrary to international humanitarian law. This gesture is all the more regrettable since Belgium had made ​​several demarches to the Israeli authorities to prevent the demolition.

This is the first time a Belgian cooperation project is destroyed in the West Bank. However, other cooperation projects of our European partners and the European Commission have been -or are threatened by- similar acts. Belgium intends to discuss at European level the issue of compensation to be paid by Israel in such cases. Belgium will also seek assurances from Israel that such a destruction will not reoccur.

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