Israel must not be able to get away with destroying EU-funded projects in Palestine.
You reported that the European Commission has made public the estimated losses incurred by the Palestinians over the past decade ("EU-funded projects in Palestine destroyed by Israel", 22-28 March). The details of the information reveal that the majority of the projects destroyed by Israel were funded by European taxpayer money.
Behind the official figures, what is most striking upon closer observation is that the destruction visited upon the Palestinians is not merely collateral damage, but also that it is systematic. The details illustrate Israel's intentions to deny the Palestinians anything resembling a state.
The Palesitnian Broadcasting Corporation (PBS) destroyed. Source: Stuart Reigeluth.
If the targeting of UN buildings with phosphorus bombs during Israel's War on Gaza in 2008-09 is not enough evidence to highlight wanton destruction, then the flattening of the American International School in northern Gaza should be proof enough of extreme collateral damage.
For Israel, international organisations, schools, hospitals, government buildings, bridges and other infrastructure – just about everything – are fair game to thwart a putative Palestinian state. Most revealing perhaps is the precise targeting of police stations.
The EU prides itself on training the Palestinian civil police to provide basic safety in the streets, to be a reference as the backbone of European state-building efforts on the ground. Why would Israel not want to see a stable, educated, wealthy Palestinian state emerge alongside its borders?
Civil police station destroyed next to mosque in Gaza City. Source: Stuart Reigeluth.
The question posed to the Commission by MEP Chris Davies was important to opening up this debate. Steps should now be taken to hold Israel accountable by demanding reparation or reimbursement funds, and by imposing conditions to end the wasteful constructive/destructive see-saw policy towards the Palestinians.
Stuart Reigeluth and Dimitris Bouris
Brussels/London, Council for European Palestinian Relations (CEPR)
This letter was published on April 12, 2012, in the European Voice.