Israeli war minister Naftali Bennett has threatened to destroy all Palestinian structures in West Bank areas under complete Israeli control (Area C), including that which Europeans funded, at the pretext of unlicensed construction.
Bennett made his threat during his meeting last week with ambassadors of European Union states.
He called on Europeans to direct their money towards humanitarian aid instead of what he called unlicensed construction.
The minister’s threat came one day after the Israeli army’s central region commander announced a plan to launch an unprecedented demolition campaign against Palestinian buildings in Area C of the West Bank.
The occupied West Bank was divided into three areas – A, B and C – as part of the Oslo Accords, signed by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel in 1993 and 1995.
The agreements led to the establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA), which was granted limited powers of governance in Areas A and B.
But the outcomes of the Oslo Accords have instead left Israel in complete control of the Palestinian economy, as well as its civil and security matters in more than 60 percent of the West Bank, designated as Area C.
Despite granting the PA control over administrative and internal security matters in parts of the West Bank, Israel maintains military control over the entire area.