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Isr. Government moves ahead with Settlement Plans Exploiting the Transitional Period in America

Madeeha Araj
2020 / 11 / 16

By: Madeeha Al-A’raj
The National Bureau for defending land and resisting settlements ( nbprs ) stated in its latest weekly report , that the Israeli Government is exploiting the results of the presidential elections in the United States and the expected change in America on next January in an extremely ugly manner to implement steps on the ground that devote the actual annexation of large areas of the occupied West Bank supported by the Trump s Administration including the expected visit of the US Secretary of State, Pompeo, next week to the occupied Golan Heights and a number of settlements in the West Bank. In this context, it appears that the outgoing Trump pushes Israel towards partial annexation of lands in the West Bank to inflame wedges of dispute between Israel and the newly elected US President, Joe Biden.

This is taking place at a time when the Minister of the Occupation Army, Gantz is competing with both Netanyahu and Naftali Bennett, to legitimize the 1,700 settlement units in the occupied West Bank, in order to win over the settlers’ friendship, without the approval of the occupation authorities. The legalization of these housing units is being worked on by a team in the minister s office in the Ministry of Security that is made up of Mikhail Bitoun, from the Kahol Lavan Party, and includes legal advisers from the Ministries of Security and the Judiciary and the Civil Administration and Gantz s settlement advisor, Avi Roi. Knowing that talks are taking about those units to be -convert-ed into ‘legal’ by activating an article in the occupation law called ‘the market’ without any need to enact a new law. The aforementioned ‘market’ allows settlers to easily register controlled lands. If it is proven that its purchase was done in good faith. ‘The occupation authorities have used this to legalize relatively few buildings in settlements, including Kiryat Arba, Barkan and Nili. This team is working on a list that includes the settlements in which such buildings will be legalized. Among them are the settlements of Beitar Illit, Modiin Illit, Ma ale Adumim, Ariel, Yitzhar, Ateret, Hallamish, Adora and Otniel.

At the same time, the so-called ‘Land of Israel lobby’, at the Knesset began a new campaign asking the government to legalize the outposts, before Joe Biden, the US President-elect, enters the White House next January. In this regard, dozens of members of the lobby submitted inquiries to the Ministry of the Army and the Prime Minister s Office about these outposts and demanded their legitimacy prior to Biden s arrival in power in the United States. In the last two weeks the lobby held several meetings regarding organizing this campaign, and members of different parties representing the right, including Likud Shas and Yihedot Hatorah tour settlements in the West Bank for this purpose, as the Knesset Constitution Committee begins a special debate on this issue next Tuesday.

On the land, the settlers don’t miss a chance to control more Palestinian lands, as settlers established a settlement outpost in the Ras A-Tin area in the village of Kafr Malik, east of Ramallah, and prevented the shepherds and the people from approaching the place, noting that settlers had previously established a settlement outpost. However, the people confronted and prevented them from establishing it, but protected by occupation forces, settlers tried to demolish the school there, which was funded by the European countries, in preparation for the expulsion of the Bedouin population, while settlers began to raze lands in Jabal Abdullah, east of Yanun, southeast Nablus to expand a new settlement outpost, and bulldoze lands near the settlement outpost known as ‘777’, which is built on Palestinian land east of Yanun. Settlers have also begun to establish a new settlement outpost by erecting tents in the Um Kharrouba area, west of Khirbet al-Suwaida in the northern Jordan Valley, as part of their ongoing plans to seize In the Jordan Valley.

In Jerusalem, the Moshe Leyon Municipality agreed to build 108 new settlement units in the ‘Ramat Shlomo’ Neighborhood. This scheme was stopped in the past due to a crisis between the Israeli government and the administration of former US President Barack Obama. This neighborhood, which is outside the Green Line, ‘East Jerusalem’, is mainly for the ultra-Orthodox, and the promotion of building in it was previously banned due to disagreements with the Obama administration. The local planning and construction committee will soon build more housing units in this neighborhood, amid expectations that this will be before the inauguration of the new US President, Joe Biden, the decision to approve the new housing units was not a political one, as business in the neighborhood has been going on for a long time.

In the city of Hebron, a Jewish settlement association received government approval allowing it to begin planning to demolish the wholesale market in the heart of the Old City to establish a settlement outpost in its place under the pretext that it has not been used for years by Palestinians, and that it is erected on the ruins of Jewish homes. Settlers’ spokesman in Hebron Noam Arnon said, the Association of Jewish Innovators succeeded in taking a decision to establish a ‘Jewish neighborhood’, a new settlement outpost on the lands of the ‘Wholesale Market’ in Hebron, explaining that the project came at the initiative of the Jewish Settlers Association in Hebron.

List of Israeli Assaults over the Last Week Documented by the National Bureau:
Jerusalem:
• Demolishing a building under construction in the Al-Tour neighborhood belonging to Ahmad Abu Al-Hawa, under the pretext of not having a building permit.
• Demolishing a vehicle laundry in the Anata town, in the area adjacent to the "Pisgat Zeev" settlement under the pretext of not having a building permit.
• The Israeli court issued a forced evacuation to the Sabbagh family in the Sheikh Jarrah area, and gave them a deadline till the 24th of this month.
• The vehicles of the so-called "nature crews" broke into the Al-Rabba valley in Silwan and bulldozed large lands in the area. It should be noted that the Wadi al-Rabba neighborhood in Silwan is more than 350 dunums planted with fruit trees and olive trees, which are private properties of the people of Silwan, it has also about 100 houses and mosques threatened with eviction and the confiscation of more than 100 dunums for the establishment of the so-called "national parks".
Hebron:
• Bulldozing the citizens lands in the Zanuta village in the Al-Dhahiriya town, to construct a new settlement road linking the Israeli settlements and a tourist route for the occupation that links the "Tina" and "Shamaa" settlements.
• Handing a demolition notice to a sheep barn in the Khirbet al-Samiya, west of al-Samu , belongs to Ghayyad Al-Salameen.
• Demolishing a barn under construction in the Al-Jalada area of Hebron, belonging to Adnan Al-Mashni.
• Notifying to demolish two houses belonging to Muhammad Rabi i and Ashraf al-Amor, and a farming room belonging to Fadl al-Amor in the al-Rakiz gathering in the Tuwani village, south of Hebron, stopped work on three others in the village and photographed two other homes without handing notifications to their owners.
• Attacking the elderly Muhammad Abd al-Hamid al-Salibi ,77, while he was picking olives in the Beit Ummar town, on his land near the Beit Ayn settlement located on the citizens lands southwest of the town, expelled him as well.
Bethlehem:
• Seizing a herd of camels in the eastern slopes of Bethlehem, under the pretext of being in a natural area, as the Israeli forces chased the camels, from Al-Beqaa area east of Al-Ubaidiyah, passing by Al-Nabi Moussa, to the Wadi al-Darjh in the Al-Rashida village, and seized nine of them belonging to Salamah Younis Al-Rashida, Mohammed Mustafa Walaydah and transferred to a detention center in the Al-Juftlik village in Jericho, and to deliver them to their owners, they stipulated a fine of 3500 NIS for each camel, i.e. a total of 26,000 NIS.
• Demolishing a house and a retaining wall in the Al-Walajeh village, north-west of Bethlehem, belonging to Mohammed Abu Al-Hega under the pretext of not having a building permit.
• Bulldozing the foundations of a house belonging to Nicola Awad in the Beit Jala city, west of Bethlehem, under the pretext of not having a building permit.
• Seizing an agricultural tractor, and forced a farmer to leave his land while he was plowing it.
Ramallah:
• Stealing agricultural equipment and damaging the farmers properties, wrote racist slogans and the David star on a building near Tramesah village northeast of Ramallah.
• Closing an agricultural road with -dir-t mounds in the Shoqba village, west of Ramallah, in the northern area of the village opposite to the Rentis village and prevented the residents, landowners and farmers from passing the road.
• Stealing 20 sheep belonging to Farah Ibrahim Kaabneh on the eastern parts of the Tiba town east of Ramallah.
Jordan valley:
• Conducting military training in several northern areas in the Khirbet Al-Farsiyeh and the Wadi Al-Maleh using heavy equipment.
• Breaking into the Khirbet Humsa al-Fawqa in the northern valley, and photographing the tents that were set up with the help of the Red Cross.
• The so-called “Israeli Nature” crews seized four cows belonging to Fathi Elyan Daraghmeh, and Qadri Alyan Daraghmeh in the Khirbet Ein al-Hilweh.




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