Israel troops use force to disperse group of EU diplomats
Story Code : 303937
The diplomats were accompanying aid workers in an effort to distribute tents and emergency aid to Bedouins in the village of Khirbet Al-Makhul on Friday.
The troops threw sound grenades at the group and pulled a French diplomat out of an aid truck before it drove away.
“They dragged me out of the truck and forced me to the ground with no regard for my diplomatic immunity,” said the diplomat Marion Castaing, adding, “This is how international law is being respected here.”
Three Palestinians were also arrested for throwing stones.
According to an unnamed source, diplomats from France, Britain, Greece, Ireland, Spain, and Sweden were accompanying aid workers.
“It’s shocking and outrageous. We will report these actions to our governments,” said one EU diplomat on condition of anonymity in reference to the Israeli troops’ thwarting of the humanitarian efforts.
He added that the diplomats’ presence in the area was a clear matter of international humanitarian law. “By the Geneva Convention, an occupying power needs to see to the needs of people under occupation. These people aren’t being protected.”
Khirbet Al-Makhul is said to be home to about 120 people. The Israeli military destroyed their houses on September 16 after a court ruled that they had been constructed without building permits and declared the area a “closed military zone.”
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the move displaced 10 families, including 16 children.