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Israel confiscates EU-funded electrical equipment in West Bank

A worker walks at the site where a new electricity plant will be built in Jalamah, near the West Bank town of Jenin, following the signing of a new contract on July 10, 2017. [JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP via Getty Images]
A worker at the site of an electricity plant near the West Bank town of Jenin on 10 July 2017 [JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP/Getty Images]

Israeli occupation forces yesterday confiscated equipment and cables funded by the European Union (EU) for the redevelopment of the electricity network in Khirbet Al-Simiya village, northwest of Al-Samou' town south of occupied Hebron, Wafa News Agency reported.

Gaza electricity crisis – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Mayor of Al-Samou, Hatem Mahareeq, told Wafa that Israeli soldiers stopped staff from his municipality working on regenerating the electricity network and seized their tools to prevent technicians from continuing their work.

Mahareeq said the project was funded by the Danish government through the EU at a total cost of $100,000 as part of projects intended to develop 'Area C' of the occupied West Bank, which is under full Israeli military and administrative control.

He went on to call for international intervention to get Israel to return the equipment and allow the continuation of the project that provides electricity to around 2,500 people in the area.

Palestinians in the area almost never receive the necessary building permits to renovate, extend or construct new homes or electricity grids for their families. Meanwhile, Israel continues to expand illegal settlements in an effort to push Palestinians out, rights groups have warned.

OPINION: Israel legitimises settlement outposts and thus proceeds with silent annexation

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