Deputy Prime Ministers Alexander De Croo and Didier Reynders condemn the destruction of a project funded by Belgium south of Hebron

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 July 4th of three water tanks, 2500 trees and a fence as part of an OXFAM humanitarian project in Dukaika, south of Hebron, funded by the Belgian Development Cooperation. This project, which was completed in 2015-16, was designed to preserve pastures for livestock, a major source of income for 300 affected people.

These new demolitions and confiscations of essential infrastructure are unacceptable: Belgium's projects aim to meet humanitarian needs and are conducted in the strictest respect of international humanitarian law and principles of aid transparency. Deputy Prime Ministers Alexander De Croo and Didier Reynders have already expressed on several occasions their deep concern at the worrying increase in the number of demolitions and confiscations of structures and humanitarian projects in Zone C. They recall that the demolitions of infrastructure and housing in the occupied West Bank, are contrary to international humanitarian law, in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention, as well as to Security Council resolutions.

Belgium is not the only international donor targeted by this type of destruction. Since 2017, at the initiative of Belgium, a group of partner countries affected by similar acts has intervened with the Israeli authorities in a systematic way, even very recently, to ask them to put an end to these demolitions and to restore affected projects or pay compensation for the damages. For the latest incident, Belgium will promptly request explanations from the Israeli Government – both via the Ambassador in Brussels and Tel Aviv – as well as compensations.