Update, October 4, 2017
We are pleased to announce that, following concerted legal and diplomatic efforts, we have successfully retrieved the equipment from the micro-grid in Jubbet a-Dhib, which was seized by the Civil Administration on June 28, 2017.
As of today, the system has been reinstalled in its entirety, and power restored to the community of 160 women, children, and men.
We would like to take a moment to thank our partners at the Netherlands Foreign Ministry for their untiring diplomatic efforts, our legal counsel Attorney Michael Sfard and his office for writing a powerful legal and humanitarian petition, social anthropologist Shuli Hartman for contributing her indispensable expert opinion on the repercussions of the confiscation of the system for the community, the Comet-ME team for the lightning quick operation to restore power, and above all the people of Jubbet a-Dhib and in particular the Women’s Council, who have weathered this most difficult summer with dignity and persistence.
Seizure of micro-grid in Jubbet a-Dhib, June 28, 2017
At 8 am on Wednesday June 28, 2017, the Israeli military entered the village of Jubbet a-Dhib in Area C in the Bethlehem district — without prior warning and without having issued stop-work orders beforehand — and confiscated a large part of the Comet-ME solar energy micro-grid that has been powering the village since November 2016.
During the action, the Civil Administration (ICA) confiscated 96 solar panels (Canadian Solar 315 Wp), one solar inverter (SMA STP 25000TL-30), and three SMA Sunny Island inverters (SMASI 8.0H). ICA workers also caused considerable damage, both to the solar panels and to the electricity room – breaking some of the panels, cutting many electricity and communication cables, and ripping the components off the walls of the electricity room – with the clear intention of preventing the future use of the system.
The value of the confiscated material is estimated at 40,000 euro, but it will only be possible to gauge the actual damage to the components themselves once they are retrieved and can be examined. This project was funded by the Netherlands Foreign Ministry.