Reading between the lines on Area C demolitions

Palestinian state media on demolitions:

Maan News Agency: Arrested development: Strangling Palestine’s green power.

Cohen says if Medico International abandons development work in Area C, moving to Palestinian Authority-controlled areas where permits are not a problem, they would do little more than “painting the walls of Bantustans.”

“We cannot just facilitate a nice jail cell, and a system where people don’t have rights.”

… Green energy advocates saw a chance to circumvent the spiraling demolitions of Palestinian buildings in the West Bank, which doubled in 2011 according to the UN.

This is basically a refusal to implement the Oslo agreements, which left Area C under Israeli control. They clearly tried to find a loophole by building European-funded power stations on Israeli-controlled land without Israeli approval, thinking that Israel could not demolish them as it would create a problem with EU countries (which has been partially successful according to the article).

I am not defending the Israeli demolitions policy and I do recognise that it is quite onerous for Palestinians to get building approval (although this has as much to do with Israeli incompetence and corruption as actual discrimination – it’s not easy for anyone to get building permits in Israel unless they bribe the right official), however it strikes me that this is an attempt to do exactly what the Palestinians always accuse Israel of doing: build facts on the ground and grab land in lieu of an agreement. Yes, they would argue that it is rightfully their land, but so would the settlers. However correct either party is, building there is counter-productive.

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  1. Israel: more on Sudanese refugees and West Bank demolitions « Major Karnage

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