A building in East Jerusalem, funded and constructed by the EU, has been razed by the Israeli government, citing that the structure was built on a land that was designated to be a National Park. Dubbed as the 'illegal European settlements'', the Israeli authorities demolished one of the 500 buildings that they deemed were built illegally and without the coordination with the Israeli government.
According to Russia Today, the structure was a temporary shelter, funded by the EU to help the displaced persons. The EU condemned the demolition, further adding that it was constructed and funded to meet the increasing needs of displaced communities.
The shelters mainly house the Bedouins, but Israel claims that it is trying to move the Bedouin population elsewhere so that the Israeli government can build its own settlements in that area.
Israel's closest ally, United States, has repeatedly advised against building more settlements in East Jerusalem, following Israel's plan to build an additional 450 homes in the area in late January. EU has also joined in a call for the abandonment of settlement building in the West Bank, fearing this would further exacerbate the situation in the region.
Peace Now, a non-governmental organisation advocating the two-state solution, claims that the rise in settlement building, on the side of the Jewish population, is mainly an election ploy by the current Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, to win more votes ahead of the Israeli elections, set to take place on the 17th March.
Ari Briggs, the international director of a non-profit organisation Regavim, stated that the issue of illegal European structures in Israel is being addressed and that he is pleased that the Jerusalem municipality is finally enforcing the law. He also said that he hoped the Israel will find an immediate solution for the remaining 499 structures, built and funded by the European Union.
The report by the Regavim regarding the illegal European structures has been presented to the European Parliament and it awaits formal hearing.