The National Bureau for Defending Land and Resisting Settlements said in his latest weekly report that the successive Israeli governments continue to confiscate more and more Palestinian lands through displacing their owners, uprooting their trees, and destroying their homes, amid Netanyahu’s pledges to settler leaders to intensify settlement activities and strength the protection of settlers, particularly in occupied Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley and areas south of Hebron so as to win upcoming Knesset elections, based on the US administration that violates the international law and the resolutions of international legitimacy, which prohibits the control of others land by force.
The US President, Trump’s atrocities in recognizing of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the transfer of his embassy to Jerusalem, and then the signing of a presidential decree that recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Syrian Golan since 1967, at the White House in the presence of Israeli PM, Netanyahu, are live examples.
Netanyahu, who came back from the U.S carrying a precious gift to the Israelis ahead of the Knesset elections, boasting of the recognition decree signed by the US President on Israel sovereignty of the occupied Golan, telling Head of Council of settlements in the Golan: “here is the decree signed by President Trump. Here is the American recognition of our sovereignty over the Golan. We have waited 50 years. It is a great declaration that greatly strengthens our sovereignty over the Golan.” This declaration represents a preemptive basis for future recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the occupied West Bank. In his address to the Israeli lobby conference on March 26, 2019, the American Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, called for using the term “Judea and Samaria” instead of the occupied West Bank, and said that Israel must retain security control in the West Bank with a permanent security presence along the Jordan River, which is considered as American call to annex the occupied West Bank.
According to the former US ambassador to Israel and US envoy to the negotiations for peace between Palestinians and Israel, Martin Indyk, who commented on Twitter on Tuesday morning, 26 March 2019, saying Trump’s recognition of Israel’s sovereignty on the occupied Golan, that “it will not be long before the West Bank is included in this way,” which is a matter of great concern among the public opinion in the US capital that Trump would do the same if the Israel decides to annex the entire West Bank or parts of it.
On the other hand, according to the latest report issued by the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics on the occasion of the 43rd anniversary of the Land Day, which the Palestinian people mark it in all places of residency, the Israeli occupation directly exploits about 2,642 thousand dunums in Area C, which constitutes 76.3% of the total area of Area C, which is 3,375 thousand dunums. The report pointed out that the number of colonial sites and military bases in Israel at the end of 2017 in the West Bank was 435 sites, including 150 colonies and 116 colonial outposts, and that the year 2018 witnessed a significant increase in the pace of construction and expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank where the Israeli occupation constructed about 9,384 new colonial units, as well as the establishment of 9 new outposts. In addition, the area of influence in the Israeli settlements in the West Bank amounted to 541.5km2 by the end of 2018, representing about 9.6% of the West Bank, while the confiscated areas for military purposes is about 18% of the West Bank, besides the annexation and expansion wall, which isolates more than 12% of the West Bank.
Israeli Jewish website disclosed affiliated to settlers disclosed that PM Netanyahu had agreed to build 5,000 settlement units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. According to the website that received a document by the Assistant Secretary for Settlement Affairs in the West Bank showed that the political level approved under Netanyahu’s presidency a number of plans for the construction of 5,000 settlement units. The document, which the site said is an electoral plan for Netanyahu, showed that 1,000 settlement units will be built in Beitar Ilit, 1,000 in Efrat, 73 in Ariel, 263 in Karnei Shomron, 750 in Maaleh Adumim, 323 in Kfar Adumim, 167 in Givat Ze’ev. The sources confirmed that the General Planning and Building Committee will meet to approve the plan to promote the construction of 4500 settlement units at the end this week i.e. few days before the elections.
As for the ongoing settlement plans, Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry, Eli Cohen announced the decision to confiscate new Palestinian lands to expand the industrial area of Mishor Adumim in the settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim with 500 dunums. According to Cohen, this expansion in the industrial zone will benefit the Israeli economy not only at the local level, but also internationally. Moreover, Cohen opened a large commercial and leisure complex with an investment of NIS 400 million and 85% of settlers support imposing Israeli sovereignty over the occupied West Bank.
In Jerusalem, the High Court also rejected the petition filed by the Darwish family, which demanded the cancellation of the confiscation of the family land, near which the Gilo settlement south of occupied Jerusalem was built. The total land area is 242 dunums, of which 14.5 dunums is the area on which the family house was built. Attempts to control the land started 2 years ago. It was revealed that the settlement “Alad” and the Israeli “Antiquities Authority” are working to open a hole under the walls of old Jerusalem in order to facilitate the entry of settlers to the so-called “City of David” in the Silwan town towards the “archaeological park” near the Al-Buraq Wall. The work started by dismantling part of the building of the Islamic archaeological site dated back to the Umayyad era. The project comes within the context of a large tourism project that carried out by the “Elad” Association.
Source: The National Bureau for Defending Land and Resisting Settlements