Israel confiscates $600,000 solar panels leaving Palestinians with harsh conditions.

According to records kept by different human rights groups last year saw the most number of  demolitions done by Israeli forces on humanitarian projects. In 2016 more than 300 structures were demolished by Israeli authorities in the occupied West Bank. Almost all of those facilities were built by International NGOs or were funded by the EU. These facilities made for the aid of the local Palestinian population which lives under extremely harsh conditions in the conflict torn West Bank, are crucial for their survival as the local population has been denied electricity and water supplies by the Israeli authorities.

In a recent seizing of property the Israeli authorities seized 96 solar panels from the remote village of Jubbet al-Dhib home to 150 people. The solar panels were part of a hybrid diesel and solar power project by the Dutch government which was constructed last year. The Netherlands contributed half a million Euros out of which 350,000 were allocated to the Jubbet al-Dhib project; which has now been seized under the pretense that the constructions were done without proper permits and were thus illegal.

 

 

However critics and representatives of NGOs point out that it is next to impossible for Palestinians to get such permits. A May U.N. report said Israeli authorities reportedly rejected permits for 391 of the 428 requests for building in Palestinian communities in Area C in the first half of 2016.

Seeing the harsh conditions the local live in these projects hold immense importance in their lives. Since the villages are not connected to the main power grid they receive little to no electricity which means storing food and medicines in the summer heat becomes an extremely hard task. Furthermore these projects sit at the forefront of empowering women in the Middle East In southern Lebanon, a group of female entrepreneurs worked with Greenpeace to install a solar microgrid in their town. The electricity it provides allows the women to operate a cooperative that makes rosewater, apple vinegar, orange sauce, apricot jam, crackers, and tomato paste.

The Israeli Palestinian conflict has been raging on for decades and with Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian civilian population it has suffered major critique from International powers. However the situation for the local population still looks gloomy to say the least.