The “Irish Aid – Government of Ireland” logos are clearly visible among the debris of broken solar panels, children’s belongings and destroyed tents, marking items donated to the Palestinian families by a European Union umbrella group that includes Ireland among its donors.
As the pandemic raged this winter, the village of Khirbet Humsah was repeatedly razed by Israeli forces in a struggle over territory in a remote part of the Palestinian West Bank that has been under Israeli occupation since 1967.
Over the last three months, nearly 70 structures provided to the community as EU aid have been destroyed or seized, according to the European Commission.
And this week, undeterred by statements of condemnation from the EU and Ireland, Israel destroyed shelters funded by the EU to rebuild the community in front of a group of European diplomats who were visiting the spot, according to aid workers who were present.
The Israeli government has designated the area a military firing range, and insists its soldiers are repeatedly breaking up and seizing the donated tents and animal shelters because the village is illegal and the Palestinians need to move on for their own safety.
But European officials and humanitarian groups view the demolitions as a transparent attempt at a land grab that contravenes international law in an area in which Israeli settlements have been expanding in a way that erodes prospects for a viable Palestinian state.