2023 / 8 / 27
By: Madeeha Al-A’raj
The National Bureau for Defending the Land and Resisting Settlements stated in its latest weekly report , that the so-called 5-year plan for the development of East Jerusalem was approved last Sunday by the Israeli Gov’t for the years 2024-2028, presented by the Israeli Minister of Jerusalem and Traditions, Meir Barush, at a value of NIS 3.2 billion, besidesa NIS half billion for the Holy Basin for Judaization, and enhance settlement in the Old Jerusalem. This five-year plan is a result of joint workthat lasted for a year and half by the Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs, the Municipality of Moshe Lion, the ‘State Corporation for the Development of East Jerusalem’ and the extremist ‘Jerusalem Institute for Political Studies’.
In a previous meetings the Israeli Occupation Government discussed the plan that was held under the Al-Buraq Wall’s tunnel last May on the occasion of occupying East Jerusalem and the so-called 56th anniversary of the ‘Unification of Jerusalem’, where a number of decisions to finance large-scale settlement projects and settlement associations were taken, while the five-year plan was approved ‘within a principled framework’, without reservations made by the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Settlement in the Ministry of Army BezalelSmotrich and the Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir and other ministers, who aare the most extremist and racist in the history of Occupation .
Meir Porush claimed that the plan aims to reduce the social and economic differences between the two parts of the city, and described it as responding to about twenty issues that require urgent attention, especially, education and infrastructure, and that his government invests in the Arab population because it is the most humane things! and we ‘do it with will and heart.’ As for Prime Minister Netanyahu, who claimed that he wouldn’t forget Jerusalem, the capital, even for one minute, and affirmed his government s commitment to helping all its residents, noting that the sums that will be employed in civil services in the east of the city are the largest in history.
The new plan came to replace a previous five-year plan that expires at the end of this year, and its budget was reduced twice, from NIS 4 to 2.1 billion, which one of its most prominent results was the deepening of the differences between East and West Jerusalem instead of reducing them.When the draft plan was circulated to the ministries before being presented to the government’s meeting, it was met with a protest from a number of ministries that were not aware of the existence of the plan in the first place, and claimed that the plan would lead to a reduction in their budgets without prior coordination. Indeed, the plan will be funded by the contribution of a number of ministries and the contribution of the municipality of Moshe Lion, distributed by about NIS 2.450 billion from the budgets of the ministries, and about NIS 750 million from the Jerusalem municipality, the innovation authority, the electricity company, and others.
This means that the approved budget is not fixed and is subject to considerations related to the work of those ministries and the work of the municipality that wa actually happened with the previous five-year plan, whose ceiling decreased by half in the context of the years of its implementation. Noteworthy here is the contribution of the occupation municipality throughout the years of the plan.
The occupation municipality approved its annual budget for the year 2023, with a value of NIS 8.42 billion, if we assume that this municipal budget will remain the same for the next five years, which is an illogical assumption of course, then the total of these budgets will range between NIS 42 billion and 45 billion, of which about NIS 750 million were allocated to East Jerusalem in partnership with the Innovations Authority, the Electricity Company and others, which is a meager and absurd number, just like the meager and absurd number that the plan singled out for the health sector. Knowing thePalestinians are about 35% of the population in the city and pay according to official data 30% of the value of taxes collected by the occupation municipality that provides to them only 8% of the total services.
According to the government’s decision, the five-year plan includes investments in various sectors, including education at a value of NIS 800 million, whose most prominent -function- is the Israeliization and Judaization of educational curricula, the employment sector in economic development, at a value of NIS 506 million, to integrate Palestinians into the Israeli Labor Market, and the infrastructure sector, at a value of NIS 833 million, for urban integration between the two parts of the city to enhance settlement encroachment, the legal planning sector and the design of public buildings at a value of NIS 132 million to complete the theft and looting of lands and register them as Absentee Property´-or-in the names of Jewish owners and settlement associations, and the resident services sector at a value of NIS 900 million to expand societal control over the Jerusalemites, in addition to security control by increasing the number of police and municipal inspectors, surveillance cameras, and the establishment of other police stations in occupied Jerusalem. As for the commitment of the Israeli government in this plan to build 2,000 apartments for the Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem annually, it is an old and false commitment by all standards, especially if we take into account the previous five-year plan and the non-stop policy of demolishing Palestinian homes and facilities.
Not only that, but the so-called East Jerusalem Development Plan closed what is more dangerous than that of the policy of Judaization, Israeliization and silent displacement, through the expansion of settlement activities as a parallel plan, as the first half of this year recorded in number of settlement units that were promoted that are in the last stage of the process of approving the construction of settlement projects by building 12,855 settlement units in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, of which 7,082 new settlement units.
For example but not-limit-ed to, the Israeli government has approved the allocation of NIS 230 million to complete the American road´-or-what is known as the eastern Ring Road in occupied East Jerusalem within the transportation projects included in the five-year plan, and withheld from public opinion that this road robs Hundreds of dunums of land from Al-Eizariya, Al-Sawahra, Abu Dis, Al-Tur, Sheikh Saad, Jabal Al-Mukaber and Sur Baher, which connects the Israeli settlements in the south of the city with the ‘Ma aleAdumim settlement’ east of Jerusalem. It has nothing to do with the development of East Jerusalem´-or-the service of the Palestinian citizens of the city.
In addition to that, it was revealed that the Israeli “Donna” company won the tender for building a new settlement project in the “Benoy” complex in the south between Al-Walaja and BeitJala, as part of a more comprehensive project to expand settlement in southern Jerusalem. The company said that towers 18 to 22 will be built, besides a commercial and services complex, playgrounds and gardens.
The urban planner, Engineer Irit Guttenberg said that she has been working for two years with the board of -dir-ectors of the ‘Ramat Shlomo settlement’ in order to develop and expand the western area of the settlement, added that an understanding and agreement was reached with the Special Committee for Building and Settlement Development in the District Committee to add about 134 settlement units in the foothills of Shua’fat in a manner commensurate with the topographical nature of the elevated area along the bypass road 443 Jerusalem, where intensive construction is taking place in this settlement, whose population has become more than 30,000 settlers.
The plans of Judaization, Israeliization and deepening of settlement in East Jerusalem go hand in hand with large and unprecedented settlement plans in the rest of the West Bank governorates, as settler leaders, especially in the northern West Bank, see in the current Israeli government their precious opportunity, prompted by the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Settlement in the Ministry of Army, BezalelSmotrich and the Settlement Council ‘Yesha’. The settler leaders of the so-called ‘Samaria Settlement Council’, which is led by Yossi Dagan, one of the hardened fascist and neo-Nazi settlers in the occupying State has implemented a plan to increase the number of settlers in the northern West Bank from about 170,000 to about one million settlers.
For this purpose, they agreed in their annual conference about a year ago to crystallize a plan based on the return to the settlements, which were evacuated by former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in the plan to disengage from the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank, and its circle expands to include the Governorates of Nablus, Tulkarm, Qalqilya and Salfeet, as a vital area for unprecedented settlement expansion. The regional council entrusted the task of planning this project to engineers and professional consultants with specialization in urban engineering, who worked for a whole year to complete the plan, which Yossi Dagan carried to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for approval in the plans of his extreme right-wing government.
The plan is based on returning to the settlements of Homesh, Ganim, Sanur, and Kadim in the Jenin Governorate, and on expanding the settlements of ‘Itamar’ in the Nablus Governorate, ‘Tzufim’ in the QalqilyaGovernorate, and ‘Salit’ and ‘AvniHefetz’ in the TulkarmGovernorate, in addition to building 2 new settlements similar to ‘Modi in’ in the extension of KafrQassem towards Salfeet, the first bears the name ‘Tanakh’ and the second bears the name ‘Shamir’, with infrastructure that includes laying railways, building an airport, and widening streets to connect them to the central and central cities in the occupying country, in addition to hospitals and centers Medical and cultural to serve the new settlements.
At the same time, Minister of Finance and the Minister of Settlement in the Ministry of Army, BezalelSmotrich is preparing a plan to legalize 155 random outposts in the occupied West Bank, using his control over the Ministry of Finance and Civil Administration. He draws maps of all the "illegal" Israeli outposts in the West Bank to facilitate the eventual legalization of all of them. He began his plan with about 14 illegal settlement outposts, five of which are classified as pastoral settlements, which are, in fact, outposts that house terrorist settlers in the first place, based on the displacement of a number of Bedouin communities such as EinSamia, Al-Qaboun, Al-Marj, Al-Baqa’, and Ras Al-Tin.
Smotrich s plan currently focuses on settlement outposts in the northern and central West Bank, before moving to Hebron ‘MasaferYatta’ and the Jordan Valley, where the Palestinian desert lies. The plan includes the allocation of hundreds of millions of shekels to finance the outposts, in addition to building access roads and connecting them to the electricity and water networks, his plan encounters opposition from levels in the occupation army and the Israeli General Security Service ‘Shin Bet’, which demanded the formation of a joint team of the relevant government ministries to examine the issue and its possible repercussions.
According to the occupation law, the occupation government intends to announce the legalization of two new settlements in the Jerusalem in ‘NofeiFurat’ and ‘Alon’, and allocate hundreds of millions of shekels for them. The two settlements are currently receiving funding from the "KfarAdumim" settlement under the pretext that they are from its neighborhoods, thus granting it a new separate infrastructure, in addition to service projects such as kindergartens, clinics and schools, where the government coalition is pushing for a decision that allows for the actual recognition of settlements that do not have an independent official status, and even a -dir-ect transfer of budgets to these settlements, and this approach has already been approved by the Israeli Ministry of Justice, and it will be presented for approval by the occupation government in the coming weeks. It is expected that the settlements of ‘Novi Furat and Alon’, which are officially considered part of the settlement of KfarAdumim, will be able to obtain government budgets -dir-ectly because they are already operating as independent settlements, the case is the same with. ‘Yuval’ as neighborhoods of ‘Eli settlement between the cities of Nablus and Ramallah.
Within the context, it was recently revealed a secret meeting held last Feb. with the participation of representatives of the Israeli army, the Shin Bet, the Mossad, the National Security Council and other parties, about the protests opposing the judicial amendments led by the Occupation Government and the role of the Israeli Supreme Court in providing cover and protection, and war crimesagainst the Palestinians, where the meeting stressed that passing the judicial amendments would weaken its role as an independent and strong court.
A senior security official who participated in those deliberations was quoted as saying, “The Supreme Court in Israel enjoys a prestigious international status, and if loyal judges are appointed, their status as a protective shield will be damaged, and in this case the workers in the construction of the Apartheid Wall and the soldiers and army officers working in occupied territories will by accused of committing war crimes in the International Criminal Court under international law.In a previous report, the National Bureau for Defending Land and Resisting Settlement stated that settlement crimes and Jewish terrorist organizations is protected by the ‘Judicial Iron Dome’, as it provides protection for the occupation government, army and Jewish terrorist organizations operating In the settlements, and they will be accountable before theInternational Courts, especially the International Criminal Court.
List of Israeli Assaults over the Last Week Documented by the National Bureau:
• Demolishing 150m2 house of Bajis Hussein al-Sheikh at the entrance to Bidu town, northwest of Jerusalem, under the pretext of building without a permit, and retaining walls, and wreaked havoc on agricultural land.
• Closing the main parking lot near Al-Zahraa Street and Al-Mamounia Secondary School in the city, under the pretext of establishing the so-called Judaizing ‘Cultural House’.
• Leveling 5 dunams of Palestinian land in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in central Jerusalem, in preparation for the opening of a parking lot for settlers.
• Closing the main roads and entrances to a number of villages and towns in the governorate, prevented the movement of citizens and organized provocative marches at the entrance to Al-Fawar Camp, the town of Dora, the southern entrance to Hebron "Al-Fahs", and the BeitEinoun intersection, and chanted racist anti-Arab slogans. Settlers from "HafatMa on" released their sheep into the agricultural lands in the village of Al-Tawana in MasaferYatta, causing damage to the wheat and barley crops, which extend over approximately 10 dunums.
• Bulldozing ‘Al-Fahs and Qalqas junctions south of Hebron, and removed them from the road map in the area in order to facilitate the movement of settlers, they also chanted racist slogans
• Attacking Jamal Hussein Al-Badan and his family while they were on a picnic in the Tuqu aea. They fired bullets in the air to intimidate them, and forced them to leave the place at gunpoint, and smashed the windows of his car.
• Attacking Palestinian vehicles near the ‘Beit El’ checkpoint, and attacked the citizens agricultural lands in Burqa village, east of Ramallah, and grazed their sheep before leaving the area.
• Attacking citizens homes with stones north of the town of Hawara, while others attacked the house of Um AymanSoufan on the outskirts of Burin, and targeted it with Molotov cocktails, which damaged to the windows of the house.
• Attacking citizens vehicles near the towns of Barqa and Sebastia, amid heavy gunfire
• Attacking a group of citizens in the Qaffin Municipality’s Park north of Tulkarm.
• Bulldozing an agricultural road in the community of ‘Imriha - Khirbet al-Mukhal’, and closed it with soil over a length of more than 550 meters in the town of Ya`bad, noting that the road that was destroyed is 1.5 km long, and serves more than 35 family, and 600 dunums of land planted with trees and field crops.
• Demolishing a 150m2 house under construction in the village of Al-Dyouk Al-Tahta, under the pretext of not having a permit.
• Attacking shepherds in KhalletMakhoul in the northern Jordan Valley, with the protection of the occupation army, who expelled them from the place and prevented them from coming back.