i24NEWS – AFP
The supplies include ‘two school structures’ and shelters intended for Bedouin communities
The European Union called out Israel on Friday for attempting to sell humanitarian aid given to Bedouin communities in the West Bank previously seized by Israeli authorities.
COGAT, a unit in the Israeli defense ministry that coordinates civilian issues in the Palestinian territories, did not immediately respond to confirm a May 6 advertisement in Israel’s Maariv newspaper which detailed the sale of “seized property” from the West Bank.
The tents and other humanitarian structures will be put up for auction within days by COGAT, the Israel defense ministry unit which oversees civilian activities in the Palestinian territories, the EU’s spokesman in Jerusalem Shadi Othman said in a statement.
The supplies include “two school structures that had been consigned to Ibziq community; and two tents and three metal sheds to the al-Hadidiya community,” Othman added.The aid was seized in October and November by Israeli authorities and is apparently worth 15,320 euros ($17,100).
The newspaper ad detailing the sale read: “In the case where the owners of these seized assets have not proceeded to request the return of their property within 30 days of the publication of this notice, the assets will be sold.
“The EU made an official request for the return of the structures but received no response, Othman said.
“EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah had called on Israeli authorities to return the confiscated items to their intended beneficiaries without precondition as soon as possible” or provide compensation, the spokesman added.
The EU often finances humanitarian structures in Bedouin villages, which ares sometimes confiscated by Israeli authorities who claim the necessary authorization has not been given. The Bedouin communities say it is very difficult to obtain the proper building permits living under Israeli control for more than 50 years.
COGAT did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the planned sale.