Spanish organisation, Seeba, managed to install solar panels at a Palestinian village in the West Bank, known as Amenzil. For the first time its residents managed to have electricity, but Israel issued a military injunction ordering the residents to remove the panels.The village has never had proper power, but after the panels were installed, the residents started providing their homes, and event tents, with lights, bought TV sets and other electric materials.
In cooperation with the An-Najah University In Nablus, the Spanish non-governmental organization installed two solar panels in the tiny village “Amenzil” located in the southern part of the West Bank, and the villagers managed to replace their gas-run generators that were barely enough for basic functions.
The solar panels also enabled the residents to run a water-pump to provide the village with water supplies, especially since it also does not have running water.
The Israeli army claims that the small village, located in Area C in the West Bank, was built without construction permits, and the army issued an order last month demanding the residents remove the solar panels.
Area C comprises over 60% of the occupied West Bank, and all constructions are subject to approval from the so-called “Civil Administration Authority”, that runs under the control of the Israeli Army.
Several Israeli NGO’s, along with the United Nations, are trying to convince the army to repeal the decision, which came without any prior notice.
The Spanish government is also using diplomatic channels in an attempt to prevent the army from removing the solar panels. The project was implemented with a total cost of nearly 365,000 Euros, largely funded by Seeba.
Head of the village council, Ali Hreizat, told France Press that “These solar panels were they ray of hope to the residents,” and added, “We have been living here since 1948, and have nowhere else to go.”
Hreizat added that the village was never officially recognized by Israel, and all of its constructions were built without construction permits, therefore, asking Israel to permit the instalment of the solar panels would be in vain.
A Spanish official in charge of the project stated that an application was actually filed to Israel before the project started, but the military division in charge of construction permits never responded.
The Israeli Civil Administration said that the panels were installed without a permit, and must be removed, and claimed that the Spanish Organization was allowed to appeal, but “Refused to present its case in front of the Appeals Committee.”
According to the Arabs48 News Website, the Spanish group filed an appeal to the head of the Civil Administration, Etan Dangot, who halted the demolish order and demanded that Seeba present detailed maps of the Solar Panels.
A spokesperson of the Israeli Army stated on Wednesday that the army “Is willing to approve the Panels,” adding that all approvals “Must be directed through legal channels.”