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									                           European and EU Sources
Punitive House Demolitions (link)
Other Kinds of House Demolitions and General IHL (link)

Punitive House Demolitions


The Association Council EU-Israel

Fourth Meeting Declaration of the European Union

17-18 November 2003

“4. The EU recognises Israel's right to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks. It urges
the Government of Israel, in exercising this right, to exert maximum effort to avoid
civilian casualties and take no action that aggravates the humanitarian and economic
plight of the Palestinian people. It also calls on Israel to abstain from any punitive
measures which are not in accordance with international law, including extra-judicial
killings and destruction of houses.”


Irish Presidency Statement at the European Union

Common Foreign and Security Policy Press Release

14 May 2004

“The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ireland, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D., called on the Israeli
government to halt its demolition of Palestinian homes in the town of Rafah in the Gaza
Strip immediately.

The Minister stressed that, at its meeting on 4 May, the Quartet had called on Israel to
take steps to respect the dignity of the Palestinian people and improve their quality of life.
The Quartet had also emphasised that Israel should refrain from demolition of Palestinian
homes and property, as a punitive measure or to facilitate Israeli construction.

The Minister said:

"I reiterate my call to both sides to declare an immediate ceasefire, supervised by
international monitors, as a prelude to the opening of negotiations."”


Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly

Recommendation 1152 (1991) on the situation of the Palestine refugees and the
immigration of Soviet Jews to Israel

Assembly debate on 25 April 1991 (7th Sitting)

“6. The inhabitants of the occupied territories have suffered from the intifada and its
consequences, protracted curfews, frequent transgressions of basic human rights, the
confiscation of land, the sealing or demolition of homes as a form of collective
punishment by the Israeli authorities, all of which are direct violations of Section III, Part
III, of the 4th Geneva Convention of 1949 relating to the Protection of Civilian Persons in
Time of War.”

Other Kinds of House Demolitions and General IHL

General Affairs and External Relations Council

Council Conclusions

17 May 2004

 “The Council recalled that Israel’s legitimate right to self-defence must be exercised
within the parameters of international law. The Council condemned the large scale
demolition of Palestinian houses in the Rafah district of Gaza as disproportionate and in
conflict with international law and also with Israel’s obligations under the Roadmap as
recalled by the Quartet on 4 May. The Council called on the Israeli Government to cease
such demolitions immediately.”

European Union Presidency

Address delivered by the Presidency, on behalf of the EU, on the Question of the
violation of human rights in the Occupied Arab Territories including Palestine
before the 60th Session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights

Common Foreign and Security Policy Statement

24 March 2004,402,403&list_id=9

 “The European Union reaffirms once more its position that the fourth Geneva
Convention relating to the protection of Civilian Persons in time of War is fully
applicable to the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem, and
constitutes binding international humanitarian law, vital for ensuring that protection of
civilians is afforded in all circumstances. The EU condemns the violations of the Geneva
Convention carried out by Israel as occupying power in transferring its own population to
the Occupied Territories”



European Parliament

Resolution on 'Wider Europe - Neighbourhood: A New Framework for Relations
with our Eastern and Southern Neighbours (COM(2003)
104 - 2003/2018(INI))’

20 November 2003

"...a multilateral, coherent and effective Euro-Mediterranean partnership, in addition to
encompassing the socio-economic dimension, must also fully embrace respect for, and
the promotion of, human rights…demands that these fundamental principles be applied
firmly and consistently in the European Union’s relations with its Mediterranean partners,
and in particular with the MEDA programmes and current and future association

European Parliament

Resolution on Peace and Dignity in the Middle East (2002/2166(INI))

23 October 2003

"43. Calls on the Commission to assess the humanitarian situation and financial needs,
and examine how all the important development cooperation and humanitarian aid
instruments available to the Union can be used from the outset of Phase I in the Middle
East, and in Palestine in particular, while requiring both parties to comply fully and
strictly with the rules of international humanitarian law;"

European Parliament Conclusions of the Presidency

Dublin Summit Annex V

25-26 June 1990

“The European Council refers to the obligations on parties to the Geneva Convention
Relative to the Protection of Civilian persons in Tome of War to respect and ensure
respect for its provisions. The Twelve have repeatedly called on Israel to adhere to its
obligations towards the Palestinian population in the territory under its occupation which
is protected by that Convention. They have observed that it has notably failed to do so in
a number of important areas. Concerned that the human rights of the population of the
Occupied Territories continue to be inadequately protected, the European Council calls
for further action, in accordance with the Convention, to ensure that protection.”


European Commission

Press Release IP/04/1027: Commission provides a further €1.35 million in aid for
victims of house demolitions in Rafah (Gaza Strip)

11 August 2004

“The European Commission has allocated €1.35 million for victims of house demolitions
in Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip…… Commenting on the decision, Commissioner
for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Poul Nielson, said: "These funds do not absolve
the occupying power of its responsibilities to uphold international humanitarian law. The
Israeli authorities must take urgent action to alleviate the suffering of the population in
the occupied territories, where the humanitarian situation has alarmingly deteriorated
over the past years." He added: "As reiterated by the European Union and the United
Nations, house demolitions are disproportionate acts that contravene international
humanitarian law, in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention, and show a reckless
disregard for the lives of civilians".”

Commission of the European Communities

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament.

Reinvigorating EU actions on Human Rights and democratisation with
Mediterranean partners, Strategic Guidelines

21 May 2003


“[…] Compared to the other MEDA partners, Israel presents distinct characteristics. It
functions as a well established parliamentary democracy, with an effective separation of
powers, a functioning system of governance, and active participation of NGOs and civil
society in all internal aspects of political and social life. However, Israel’s compliance
with internationally accepted standards of Human Rights is not satisfactory. Two
important specific areas need to be tackled. Firstly, the issue of reconciling the declared
Jewish nature of the State of Israel with the rights of Israel’s non-Jewish minorities.
Secondly, the violation of Human Rights in the context of the occupation of Palestinian
territories.” (Page 5)

“There is an urgent need to place compliance with universal human rights standards and
humanitarian law by all parties involved in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict as a central
factor in the efforts to put the Middle East peace process back on track. This will require
a special effort by the EU and the setting up of an appropriate strategy.” (Page 5)

Commission of the European Communities.

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament:
The European Union's Role in Promoting Human Rights and Democratisation in
Third Countries.

8 May 2001

"…the Commission, through ECHO, has an obligation to ensure that humanitarian
activities themselves respect and contribute to the protection of the human rights of the
victims of armed conflict…. The Commission has therefore recently launched a ‘human
rights approach to humanitarian assistance’. (Page 13)


United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office

British Foreign Secretary

Press Release: Foreign Secretary expresses concern about recent house demolitions
in Rafah

17 May 2004


“Speaking in response to recent house demolitions in Rafah, the Foreign Secretary, Jack
Straw, said:

'I am deeply concerned at Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes in Rafah. While I
understand Israel's need to defend itself, the demolition of homes is a form of collective
punishment which harms innocent people. House demolitions fuel anger among
Palestinians and in the region. Such actions are contrary to Israel's commitments under
the Roadmap and are simply unacceptable.'”

Ambassador Johan Molander, Head of the Delegation of Sweden on behalf of the
European Union

Statement on the Question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab
territories, including Palestine, 57th Session of the Commission on Human Rights
(Geneva, 19 March – 27 April 2001)
Agenda item 8: Question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab
territories, including Palestine

29 March 2001

“Furthermore, the European Union continues to strongly oppose Israeli settlement
activities in the occupied territories including East Jerusalem, such as the construction of
new settlements and the expansion of already existing ones, the expropriation of land, the
biased administration of water resources, the construction of roads, and house
demolitions, all of which violate human rights and international humanitarian law,
besides being major obstacles to peace. The European Union calls upon the Israeli
Security Forces to ensure the protection of the population in the occupied territories,
including preventing, investigating and prosecuting acts of violence committed by Israeli

European Communities and their Member States and the State of Israel

International Agreement: Euro Mediterranean Agreement (EU-Israel Association
Agreement) Article 2

21 June 2000


 “Relations between the Parties, as well as all the provisions of the Agreement itself, shall
be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles, which guides their
internal and international policy and constitutes an essential element of this Agreement.”


Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly

Resolution 1281 (2002) Situation in the Middle East: Text adopted by the Assembly
on 25 April 2002 (14th Sitting).

“3. Respect for international humanitarian law is the first duty of any state which aspires
to be democratic and claims to belong to the international community. In this connection,
it points out that the Observer status, which the Israeli Knesset enjoys with the
Parliamentary Assembly is an acknowledgement of Israel’s commitment to respect for
human rights and fundamental freedoms.

4. While recognising and respecting the legitimate right of the State of Israel to protect its
own security and that of its citizens, the Assembly considers the action taken by its army
in the Palestinian territories inappropriate, and condemns the indiscriminate and
disproportionate use of force.

5. The Assembly condemns the Israeli forces’ systematic destruction of the Palestinian
infrastructure, and considers that action of this kind makes it impossible for the
Palestinian authorities to exercise power and at the same time fans hatred of Israel. It
strongly opposes the dismantling, on the pretext of combating terrorism, of the
Palestinian Authority, Israel’s internationally recognised partner in the political process.

6. It is profoundly disturbed by reports of violations of international humanitarian law
committed by the Israeli army under the conduct of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, while
operating in the Palestinian territories, and particularly in the refugee camp at Jenin. It
supports the United Nations Security Council’s decision to set up an international
commission of enquiry to determine the facts and establish responsibility.”

17. The Assembly calls on the Government of Israel to:… d. fully respect all the norms of
international humanitarian law, do everything possible to protect the civilian population,
and give the humanitarian organisations, in particular, the International Committee of the
Red Cross (ICRC) and the national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, as well as the

international media, free and immediate access to the Palestinian territories, as requested
in Resolution 1405 of the UN Security Council;

25. The Assembly calls on the Knesset and the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) to
deploy their political authority to ensure that human rights and humanitarian law are
respected, and to ensure that any alleged rights violations are thoroughly investigated
and, if proven, punished.
26. The Assembly decides to focus its official contact with Israel on questions concerning
the resumption of political dialogue between the parties in the conflict and concerning the
respect of human rights and international humanitarian law. It considers that the
committee meetings in Israel, except those which contribute directly to the political
process or the respect for human rights and international humanitarian law, are not timely
and must therefore be postponed until the situation has returned to normal.


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