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Israel Army roughs up EU envoys on West Bank aid trip

Last Updated: Saturday, September 21, 2013 - 08:41

Makhul (Palestinian Territories): Israeli troops on Friday manhandled a group of European diplomats as they tried to hand out tents to Palestinian Bedouins whose West Bank homes were destroyed by the Army.

The troops used force to disperse the diplomats who had accompanied aid workers to the village of Makhul in the Jordan Valley, a news agency photographer said.

French diplomat Marion Fesneau-Castaing was dragged out of an aid truck, the photographer said.

A European diplomatic source said the woman was yanked out of the truck by Israeli soldiers who later confiscated the vehicle.

The source, who declined to be named, said diplomats from France, Britain, Greece, Ireland, Spain and Sweden had accompanied aid workers to Makhul to help hand out tents to the Bedouins.

"There was an attempt to erect tents... But the security forces intervened to impose a Supreme Court decision," an army spokeswoman told a news agency, adding that three Palestinians were arrested after stone-throwing.

The Army on Monday demolished property built by the Bedouins in Mahul, after the court ruled they had been erected without building permits and declared the area a "closed military zone".

The move forced the displacement of 10 families, including 16 children, the UN`s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

Palestinians have said the Israeli Army also prevented the Red Cross from pitching tents for them earlier this week.
Mahul is in an area of the West Bank under full control of the army, which rarely issues building permits.

Israel has destroyed more than 500 property owned by Palestinians in the West Bank and mostly Arab east Jerusalem since the beginning of this year, displacing 862 people, according to OCHA.


First Published: Saturday, September 21, 2013 - 08:41

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