The pace of demolition orders, settlement & settlers violence in Areas ‘C’ increase

Madeeha Araj
2024 / 1 / 28

By: Madeeha Al-A’raj
The national Bureau for Defending the Land and Resisting Settlements stated in its latest weekly report , that Israeli Media reported that during the last weekend the Israeli Occupation Authorities have handed over 11 destruction orders of Palestinian owned buildings and agricultural structures in the Abu Al-Nawar Community located on an area of 500 donums of land near the Abu Dis town, east of Al-Eizariya in the occupied Jerusalem, knowing that the community is surrounded by the settlements of the ‘Maale Adumim’ to the north, ‘Kedar 1’ to the south, ‘Kedar 2’ to the east and an Occupation Army Camp. Such orders were delivered by the Netanyahu-Smotrich-Ben Gvir’s Gov’t in the Masafer Yatta, the northern Jordan Valley, and the Al-Mo’rajat of Jericho over the past year-;- they have indicated very clearly the dangers facing the Areas C in the West Bank.
Jewish settlement in this area is creeping on what remains of the Palestinians’ land, which is besieged by settlements, outposts, and the so-called pastoral farms that have become a tool of Jewish terrorist organizations’ control over the land. In this area, there are more than half a million settlers live, spread out in more than 175 settlements and more than 200 outposts and pastoral farms. The settlements, according to the structural building plans, occupy 4.5% of the area, while the settlement outposts and so-called pastoral farms cover the larger areas-;- in return for 350,000 Palestinian citizens live in 530 villages there i.e. a quarter of the area, distributed as follows: 5% for construction and housing, about 35% for agriculture and grazing, and about 60% of the area are called State lands, and settlement lands.
Knowing that the Israeli Gov’ts consider the Areas C as a vital space for Jewish settlement and security, and retain them as a material for the negotiations in the future if any, while the Palestinians consider them as an indispensable vital space for the establishment of a viable Palestinian State, without which, the state’s geographical continuity would be impossible. Besides, they include agricultural areas, many natural resources, and lands for establishing infrastructure and expanding rural and urban construction.

In 2009, Salam Fayyad s government tried to crystallize a Palestinian vision for deciding the future of these areas by a series of projects supported and funded by the EU States, which included registering Palestinian ownership of them, a process that was taking place before 1967, which the Occupation Authorities froze in 1968 to prevent the Palestinians from possessing ‘tabu’ i.e. official legal proofs of ownership of the lands, as the occupying settlement state aspires to confiscate them, especially, since the Likud came to power after 1977, where settlement did not stop even after the signing of the Oslo Accords, but they have opened the conflict over these areas, and the number of settlers has multiplied 7-fold under a policy practiced by all the Israeli governments to create a de facto through which they control a settlement framework that bee imposed on the Palestinians.

The thirty-seventh government of Israel, which Netanyahu formed with his fascist and neo-Nazi allies after the Knesset elections in Nov. 2022, began to implement a central coup in everything related to the forms of control of the occupying state, not only over the areas C, but also over the West Bank, including Jerusalem,´-or-what it calls ‘Judea and Samaria’, aiming to fully control these areas, paving the way for its annexation to the occupying state, and thwarting any possibility of a future agreement based on the so-called ‘two-state solution’. Another aspect of the coup is the strategy of the Minister of Finance and Minister of Settlement, Bezalel Smotrich to eliminate the national aspirations of the Palestinians by turning these areas into a ‘new Galilee’ without political rights for their residents. The options before the residents of the West Bank in light of this coup that is led by Smotrich, and supported by Netanyahu, are-limit-ed. They are either to live in municipalities that manage their own affairs´-or-to emigrate abroad encouraged and supported by the occupying state i.e. ‘displacement and ethnic cleansing’, and whoever refuses that, his/her situation will be settled by force.

According to many reports and estimates, it is clear that the basic idea of the current government is to provide the necessary and appropriate conditions for creeping annexation through a series of steps that began with transferring the powers of the Civil Administration to the Minister at the Ministry of the Army, Bezalel Smotrich, and expanding the settlement project by settling the so called ‘Young Settlement’ i.e. legal recognition of illegal settlement outposts, where Smotrich, to whom civil powers were transferred in what the occupying state calls ‘Judea and Samaria’ (the West Bank) within the framework of the ‘Resolution Document’ that he published, affirmed that the mission is ‘to knock the consciousness of the Arabs and the world that there is no possibility of establishing a Palestinian State between the river and the sea.

It was also clear in the discussions that took place in the Foreign Affairs and Security Committee at the Knesset before the brutal war, which the occupying state began last October that Smotrich and Ben Gvir encouraged by Netanyahu, revealed that the government is working to establish a specialized border guard unit for law enforcement in the so-called ‘Judea and Samaria’. Smotrich added the government’s intention is to allocate hundreds of thousands of dunams for agriculture for the Jewish National Fund ‘Kern Kaymet’, and to legitimize 155 settlement outposts and all pastoral farms, which are run by terrorist organizations such as the ‘Pay Price Organization’, in order to dismantle the Palestinian Authority, and to assign the running of the population affairs merely to local authorities.

Within the context, it is possible to understand the policy of the right-wing government of duplication of the volume of construction bids in the settlements, the legitimization of many settlement outposts, and the unleashing of Jewish terrorist organizations in the settlement outposts and so-called pastoral farms to push forward the forced displacement of Palestinian Bedouin and herding communities, with a focus on the southern hills in Hebron and the Jordan Valley areas, especially the central and northern areas, and the expansion of bypass roads to connect the settlements and the Israeli cities in 1948. This way, the Netanyahu-Smotrich-Ben Afir government flees forward and closes the doors to any opportunity for stopping the war due to considerations related to the political future. Not only to Netanyahu, but also to Smotrich and Ben Gvir, who are making empty threats to end the government if the brutal war is stopped, and they know that the future of their settlement project is fundamentally linked to the survival of the government.

For its part, the ‘Peace Now Movement’ said that the situation in the West Bank after 3 months of war on Gaza, witnesses an unprecedented move in settlement activities, including the construction of settlement outposts, roads and fences, as at least 18 new roads were built, as well as a large number of settlement outposts, the paving of those roads allows for the seizure of new large-scale areas along the road, which constitutes an area that is inaccessible to the Palestinians due to the presence of the settlers and their ease of access to the area. Indeed, the establishment of settlement outposts and the paving of roads have contributed to the spread of the phenomenon of checkpoints, which force Palestinians to take rugged mountainous bypass roads in order to reach the main roads in the West Bank.
Regarding the new settlement hysteria is, the Settlement Coalition organizes next Sunday a conference in Jerusalem in which according to the organizers’ sources, thousands of Israelis from the extreme religious and nationalist movement will participate, including ministers and members of the Israeli Knesset, where Israeli ministers and officials are active in mobilizing for the conference and calling to join it, such as, Tourism Minister Haim Katz - who is from the ruling Likud Party that calls for the return of Israeli settlements in Gaza, stresses that settlement is the only way to bring security to Israel, and claims that the foolishness of uprooting settlements from Gush Katif and northern Samaria ‘the West Bank’ must be corrected and -restore-d.
And that ‘Israel’s security’ will come through a strong military strike, and the resumption of settlement in the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria, in ‘a strong message to our enemies that we will never be broken.’ In turn, Minister of Culture and Sports Miki Zohar from the Likud Party also confirmed in a video clip in which he appeared alongside Yossi Dagan, head of the “Samaria Settlements Council” and the leaders of the “Nahala” settlement movement, such as Daniela Weiss, stressed the importance of the conference. We explain the importance of settlement, and why preventing the establishment of a Palestinian State is important, while the head of the Samaria Council, Yossi Dagan, said that ‘the Oslo Accords and the expulsion of the settlements’ they brought this Holocaust, and the resumption of settlement in the Gaza Strip and the north of the Strip first and the return to the north of Samaria will give us security’”
Moreover, throughout this month, multiple Israeli media outlets revealed that officials in the Israeli security services confirmed that there were hundreds of warnings about possible attacks against the occupation army and herds of settlers in the West Bank, and that these officials referred to the West Bank as the third front in the war after the Gaza Strip and the northern borders of Lebanon, and the campaigns of repression carried out by Israel in the West Bank have become a security dilemma, and the level of extremism in the West Bank is at its highest levels since the second 2000 intifada, which called on the Israeli authorities to transfer the unit ‘Dovdovan - Musta aribin’ and the Kfir Brigade from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank again, in addition to search in the Israeli military and security circles to the possibility of arming the ‘emergency teams’ that were established by Israeli National Security Chief Itamar Ben Gvir in the occupied West Bank settlements, with anti-armor missiles, to provide more protection for settlers, with all the ensuing encouragement to commit more crimes.

List of Israeli Assaults over the Last Week Documented by the National Bureau:
• Forcing -dir-ar Darwish and Samir Al-Halawani to self-demolish their house in the town of Al-Za’im, and the second in the Damascus Gate to avoid paying huge costs if the occupation bulldozers carried that.
• Storming a land belonging to the Shweiki family in the Al-Thawri Neighborhood in Silwan, and tried to demolish a retaining wall inside the land to build a street in the place, and attacked the residents.
• Attacking shepherds in Masafer Yatta and opened fire on them, others stormed a Ghazwi Community and attacked citizens’ properties.
• Storming homes of citizens in the Susiya village, and threatened to kill them if they did not leave, while other settlers continued to build a settlement road in the areas of “Wadi Al-Malaki” and “Ain Al-Shanar” with a length of more than 3 km to connect the ‘Bnei Hefer settlement’ to the new settlement outpost that was established there.
• Demolishing a house in the village of ‘"Lasifir, southeast of Yatta, belonging to Mahmod Khalil Abu Qbaita and his family, and another house in Khirbet Khallet Al-Farn in the village of Birin, east of Hebron, as well as a house with an area of 140m2 that belongs to Bilal Nasr Hussein Ghaith, who lives there with his familythat consists of several individuals, noting that the occupation s attacks and practices in the village of Birin aim to displace the population and expand the so-called ‘Bnei Hefer settlement’, despite the residents having identification documents for their properties.
• Attacking the ‘Country Hawara Park’ in the town and beaten a citizen, causing him to suffer injuries and bruises, as a result he was transported to Rafidia Governmental Hospital in Nablus.
• Storming a water spring in the Qariot village, and performed Talmudic rituals in the place.
• Firing live bullets towards citizens’ homes in the village of Jalud, south of Nablus, in the Sheikh Bishr area, southeast of the village, while Red Cross crews were present. The bullets broke the windows of the village mosque while the citizens were performing the noon prayer.
• Attacking the shepherds in the “Jisr al-Khalah” area, located between the villages of Ramoun and Deir Dibwan, and severely beaten them, causing three of them to suffer bruises and fractures.
• Bulldozing land in the “Khallet Al-Ain” area, southwest of the town of Al-Khader, at the ‘Kilo 17 area’, with an area of 4 dunums.
• Building a new settlement road in the Battir town that surrounded land in the ‘Taf Abdullah’ and ‘Al-Qusayr’ areas, with an estimated area of 100 dunams, kknowing that the owners has ownership document.
• Attacking farmers while they were in the Ramin Plain, on their land planted with olive trees, and forced them to leave, as they refused to do so, other heavily-armed settlers came to scene, and threatened to shoot them, they also attacked a citizen with an iron piece on his back, shoulder, and hands, then he was transferred to the Thabet Thabet Hospital in Tulkarm,
• Closing Khirbet-Mkhal aea, near the Ya`bad town, with soil barriers, and threatened anyone who tried to leave Khirbet´-or-approach the barriers. Knowing that Khirbet is surrounded by settlement outposts, and is subjected to repeated raids by the occupation forces, who raid citizens’ homes, abuse them, and prevent them from accessing their lands.
• Preventing farmers from reclaiming their lands, and beaten citizens in the Qarawat Bani Hassan village, a number of citizens suffered bruises and suffocation. The attacks ranged from shooting at citizens, destroying and burning their property, confiscating agricultural equipment, and pursuing them with the aim of controlling the area.
• Storming the Deirblout town of and expelled the workers working in a house under construc tion owned by the citizen Bahaa Abdullah, and confiscated their private vehicle in the Al-Sahel area, under the pretext that they are in area C.
• Destroying a water well in the town of Ras Attiya, south of Qalqilia, belonging to the Ras Attiya Agricultural Society, and serves several residential communities, namely “Ras Tira, Al-Dabaa, and Wadi Al-Rasha”, noting that the well benefits more than 400 farmers, on about 1,500 agricultural dunums,
Jordan Valley:
• Forcing a Palestinian family in the village of Al-Jiftlik to pay a fine estimated at NIS150,000 after collecting it from the villagers in exchange for returning 800 sheeps belonging to the Idais family in Al-Jiftlik.
• Renewing a decision to seize approximately 91 dunams of the citizens’ lands in the Al-Baqi’a Plain in the northern Jordan Valley, the lands included by the decision are located within the basins of Khallet Al-Rikab, Ras Al-Darina, Ras Al-Madhabir, and Jalama Makisma.
• Bulldozing near the Arab Mleihat community on the Al-Marajat Road, northwest of Jericho, in preparation for building housing and caravans for the settlers, on about 500 dunums.
• Digging symbolic graves for children near the “Arab Al-Kaabna Basic School” in Al-Ma’rajat, in a provocative step to create a state of fear and terror among students and children.

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