Israelis threaten demolition of €400,000 installation on Palestinian land

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An installation initiated by Israeli pro-peace scientists and funded by German company Comet-ME is under threat following claims by Israeli authorities that building work, started last August, was constructed illegally. Germany , which has already invested €400,000, is concerned this could lead to international outrage.

The Israeli Civil Administration – a division of the military concerned with Palestinian civilians – claims a permit was not requested for six of the 16 installations in Area C of the West Bank settlements.

Publication Find Law claims Elad Orian, co-founder and physicist of Comet-ME told Associated Press the team felt it would be futile to apply for a permit as the Israelis consider these communities themselves to be illegal. Israeli authorities state the Area C communities are nomads and therefore have no claim to the land which is under complete Israeli jurisdiction. Orian hopes demolition is still months away and political pressure from Germany will save the installations.

Find Law also cites a United Nations report alleging 70% of Area C is off limits to Palestinian construction and that “in reality, it is almost impossible for Palestinians to obtain building permits”.

However, Israeli authorities argue they have allowed rapid Palestinian settlement development in Area C, with 100 authorized outposts constructed since 1990. The authorities have also connected these communities to the electricity grid, provided roads and infrastructure.

Earlier this month, we reported Israeli authorities permitting Avra Power to develop an 8MW solar park on Bedouin land, even though media reports indicate these lands having been previously bulldozed for illegal buildings.

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