New Israeli bill seeks to hold EU liable for illegal Palestinian building

Illegal EU funded Palestinian structures in the area of Kfar Adumim.
(photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)

Bill would strip diplomats of immunity in activities relating to terror, human trafficking and illegal construction.

A Knesset bill designed to halt European Union support for illegal Palestinian construction in Area C of the West Bank was filed on Wednesday by MK Oded Forer (Yisrael Beytenu).
If passed by the Knesset, it would strip diplomats of immunity in activities relating to terror, human trafficking and illegal construction, and would hold European Union diplomats liable for helping Palestinians build illegally in Area C of the West Bank.
“Diplomatic immunity was not granted to allow for activities that undermine the state’s sovereignty,” said Forer.
His actions are part of a larger campaign by right-wing politicians and non-governmental groups to halt such building, particularly in the area of Route 1, as it runs from Jerusalem past the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement in the direction of the Dead Sea.
Right-wing politicians and activists have noted that the temporary structures, with bright blue EU logos pasted onto their walls, are located very close to the road. They have warned that such construction would allow for Palestinians to attack vehicles on that road.
Immunity for foreign diplomats is important, Forer said, but it cannot be used to “legitimize activities that at the end of the day harm the state and the citizens of Israel.”
This particular activity, he said, could seriously harm the state of Israel.
Avihai Shorshan, of the Kfar Adumim settlement, who had appealed to politicians to take action warned that Route 1, near his home, is a “ticking time bomb.”
The Yisrael Beytenu, Likud and Bayit Yehudi parties have said they would support the bill.
Its passage would make it easier for right-wing organizations such as Regavim to petition the High Court of Justice against such building.
EU diplomats have argued that their support for such building falls under the category of humanitarian relief and is permissible under international law. They have noted that the lack of sufficient Israeli permits for Palestinian construction in Area C makes it impossible for Palestinians to exercise their basic human right to housing.

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