Alexander De Croo and Didier Reynders condemn the demolition of a children’s garden in Zaatara

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders condemn the demolition, on April 12, of a children’s garden in Zaatara, in the Nablus Governorate, a project funded by the Belgian Development Cooperation. They will without delay ask for explanation from the Israeli government through the Ambassador in Brussels and via the Belgian Embassy in Tel Aviv. 

This destruction of a project aimed at essential basic infrastructures is unacceptable. The projects of Belgium aim at responding to humanitarian needs and are conducted in accordance with international humanitarian law. Ministers De Croo and Reynders expressed again, last March, their deep concern following the worrying increase in the number of demolitions and confiscations of structures and humanitarian projects in Area C.

The European Union also repeated, in the conclusions adopted at the Foreign Affairs Council in January 2016, that it is firmly opposed to the settlement policy and to the measures taken in this context, such as, in particular, demolitions and confiscations. This policy and the measures taken in this context go against the solution based on the coexistence of two states, with the State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous, sovereign and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security and mutual recognition.

Belgium is not the only international donor affected by such destructions, and projects funded by our European partners or by the European Commission have also been affected by acts of the same type, or are threatened to be. Belgium is therefore committed to actively continue the discussion at European level on the issue of compensations that have to be paid by Israel in such cases.

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