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Settlers Celebrate US State Department Report, Carry out Huge Settlement Campaign in Jerusalem

The National Bureau for Defending Land and Resisting Settlements said in his latest weekly report that , within the context of his electoral campaign for the early Knesset elections next month, Netanyahu announced plans to build 23,000 new settlement units in East Jerusalem during the next 5 years, in addition to thousands of settlement units in the West Bank. He wrote on his FB, “We signed an agreement to build 23,000 new apartments in Jerusalem with an investment of NIS 1,000,000,000 ($ 276,000,000). Adding  that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel forever since 3 thousand years.

In Jerusalem, a group of settlers demonstrated near the Khalil Gates in Jerusalem – and chanted racist slogans against the Arabs. A group of Israeli leftists have quarreled with them. The “temple groups” within the framework of the so-called “Union of Temple Organizations” renewed their calls for their supporters and the settler public to participate in what they called the “al-Aqsa” invasion under the slogan “Together to prevent the Muslims from taking over (Bab-Raham) i.e. the Gate of Mercy.” At the same time, the Ministry of Housing and Construction is to announce the marketing of more than 700 housing units in the Jerusalem area, some of them outside the Green Line, in Pisgat Ze’ev and Ramot. Some 260 housing units will be marketed in Alfei Menashe, Emmanuel and Adam near Qalqilia Governorate.

The settlement of Yitzhar, located on the land of 6 villages south of Nablus, is expanding, bulldozing and building mobile homes. The settlers set up approximately 20 mobile homes in the land of Huwara village, in the area of ​​Al-Lahaf, No. 17, after occasional bulldozing. These lands are privately owned by citizens and are adjacent to Yitzhar settlement. Last week settlers attacked the town of Burin, south of Nablus, accompanied by four agricultural tractors and cut off 30 olive trees from the land of Burin, south of Nablus, which is more than 70 years old.

In Hebron, the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee managed to get a decision from the Israeli High Court to evacuate settlers from the al-Bakri building in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of the old town of Hebron after a 14-year legal battle in Israeli courts. The Hebron Rehabilitation Committee confirmed that it had gone through several stages until the Israeli Court issued a decision to evacuate the settlers from the building, subject to appeal within 45 days of date.

The Israeli governments and occupation authorities have been manipulating Palestinian land for various security reasons, according to a report by Israel’s non-governmental organization Kerem Navot, said Israel had seized 100,000 dunams of Palestinian land over the past 50 years under security pretexts. Half of those lands eventually became settlements in the West Bank, which has been occupied by Israel since 1967, where 450,000 settlers live outside of Jerusalem, which is illegal under international law. In the same report, the association confirmed that the 100,000 dunums confiscated by the Israeli army since 1969 were mainly private property of Palestinians, and that 47% of the confiscated land was eventually used to build settlements or open roads for settlers and build military facilities. The report added, the Labor Party is responsible on that as it put its concept between 1967-1977, adding that the majority of the confiscation operations took place after that stage, that is when the Likud party took power between 1979-1983.

On the other hand, in a new State Department annual report on human rights in the world. The report considered the West Bank and the Golan as Israeli-controlled territory, a change in America’s position on the Golan Heights and the West Bank. They are considered under international law as occupied Arab territories that Israel must withdraw from. Knowing that during the past year the Trump’s administration has off the term “occupied territories” from the title of the report.

For their part, settlers in Gush Etzion expressed their delight at the State Department’s report and demanded that their government, whether current or upcoming, declare full Israeli sovereignty over the territories, which the Israeli army liberated in 1967, as they claim.

Source: The National Bureau for Defending Land and Resisting Settlements

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