By: Savannah Smith | 07-09-2017 | News
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Dutch Government Donates Solar Panels to Palestine, Israel Confiscates Them

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The Dutch government has donated to the electrification project of a village in Palestine but Israel has confiscated the equipment. So now, the Dutch government is lodging a protest with Israel for the interference to their aid project for Palestine.

The Dutch government donated around 500,000 euros to the electrification project of Palestinian village Jibbet Addeeb’s, specifically for their hybrid power system. The project is located south of Bethlehem in the West Bank. 350 thousand euro of the entire donation went to Jibbet Addeeb village. But Israel confiscated the equipment.

The Dutch foreign ministry in a letter written and sent to Haaretz by the Netherlands’ office in Ramallah is requesting Israel to return the equipment and is “currently assessing what next steps can be taken”.

A source close to Dutch diplomats in the West Bank reveals that there’s a brewing anger on the side of the Netherlands government but that they are still trying to contain the situation and cover their rage with “softly worded statements”. The Netherlands is a close friend of Israel, but the European country is not happy with the damage their friend has caused to the humanitarian project.

Officials from the Civil Administration (the Israel body governing Area C in the West Bank) confiscated on Wednesday 96 solar panels and electronic equipment belonging to the electric system of Jibbet Addeeb. The system was installed by Comet-ME, an Israeli-Palestinian organization, nine months ago, and was funded by the Dutch. Comet-ME also builds water and energy systems for Palestinians.

Comet-ME also said that the equipment not confiscated were damaged in the raid. The cost of the captured and damaged equipment is estimated to be around 40 thousand euros. The material and social damage, however, is much greater since their seizure immediately caused power loss for 30 families in the village and its public buildings.

Cease work and demolition orders were also not served to residents before the raid was carried out, contrary to planning and construction laws. Said orders were only given to the residents on the day of the raid itself. Such late notice denied the village and its representatives to take administrative or legal action against Israel officials involved in the raid.


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