Settlement expansion as react to recognize Palestinian State , reflects impasse of Israels policy

Madeeha Araj
2024 / 5 / 28

By: Madeeha Al-A’raj

The National Bureau for Defending the Land and Resisting Settlements stated in its latest weekly report , that last week, three Europe countries, ‘Spain, Norway and Ireland have decided to recognize Palestine as a State-;- the recognition will enter into effect as of 28th of this month. Accordingly, the number of countries that recognize Palestine has become 142, out of 193 member states of the United Nations. The three countries affirmed that their recognition contributes to enhancing the chances of reaching a political settlement for the Palestinian - Israeli conflict on the basis of the two-state solution, international law, and relevant international legitimacy resolutions. Their decision was welcomed by most of the countries and powers of the world, except countries known for their friendship with the Israeli Occupation State, such as, USA, Germany, Britain, and France. France has claimed that, it is not against such a step, but it is in the wrong time. As for America, it always has biased behavior towards the occupying state, adding, it is in favor of two-state solution, but gives priority to free the kidnapped persons.

The Occupying State’s reaction to the of the 3 EU States’ decision was expected, as some Israeli gov’t officials and KM warned of it, where on last Feb. 22nd, it approved the decision of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to oppose any possible international recognition of a Palestinian state, thus reflecting a state of consensus between Jews and the various movements and camps in the Israeli political scene that refuse to reach a political settlement with the Palestinian people.
The Knesset adopted the Israeli government’s decision against recognition of an independent Palestinian State, by a majority of 99 out of 120, and the voting results showed the trend of the various Israeli political parties and movements towards the extreme right-wing ideology, and the efforts of the political and party spectrums from the various camps to ignore the Palestinian issue and the rights of the Palestinian people from the agenda and programs of the parties, either for a firm political position´-or-for fear of losing the public’s votes, if early parliamentary elections are held.

Such reactions reflect the unlimited impasse in the Israeli policy, of course, to the political position on this important step, but rather extended to what is expected of a country whose relationship with the Palestinian side is governed by the laws of the jungle, specifically here, Israel does not act as a state of law, as much as, it acts as a state governed by the laws of the jungle. More than one official in Israel has previously announced that this country will establish a new settlement in exchange for each country s recognition of the State of Palestine.
Hence the reaction to Norway, Ireland and Spain’s recognition of the State of Palestine, the Minister of the Occupation Army, Yoav Gallant, announced in a joint statement with the head of the settlement council in the northern West Bank, the extreme right-wing Likud, Yossi Dagan, the start of implementing what was stipulated in the “Cancellation of Disengagement” law from the northern West Bank, which was issued by the Israeli Knesset on March 21, 2023 to what was called at the time “disengagement from the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip” was taken by former Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon in 2005, when the occupying state dismantled its settlements in the Gaza Strip and four settlements in the Jenin Governorate in the northern West Bank, namely Ganim, Kadim, Sanur, and Homesh, and withdrew from them.
At the same time, its forces were deployed from within the Strip to surround it from the outside, the cancellation of the disengagement from the Knesset has one goal, which was to allow the return of settlers to these settlements that had been dismantled, by abolishing the criminal punishment imposed under the “Disengagement” law on anyone, who enters´-or-resides in those settlements, which were built on private Palestinian land, Homesh has since turned into something resembling a settlement outpost through which settlers practice orgies and acts of terrorism, burning homes and destroying vehicles under full protection from the occupation army.

According to the Galant’s statement, the decision was taken after continuous consultations between him, head of the settlement council, and officials in the Israeli army, adding “after the disengagement cancellation law was approved in the Knesset and the work was completed, we were able to complete the historic step of Jewish control over Judea and Samaria i.e. West Bank’ - guarantees security, and implementing the disengagement cancellation law will lead to the development of settlement and provide security for the residents of the region. I will continue to develop the settlements in Judea and Samaria, to strengthen the security elements and the security of citizens, in the roads and settlements.”
In the same context, an order was signed for a “closed military zone” in the northern West Bank, to protect against hasty steps by settlers to reach the area and settle there, before the completion of the security measures of the occupation army to secure the settlement and the settlers, a security source told Israeli Army Radio, explaining, “This requires completely different security preparations in this area, to build a settlement around Jenin, which is filled with “terrorism” more than any other area in the West Bank, so this cannot be done from today until tomorrow. Now we begin to work on examining all the security factors and conditions for settlement in this area, including building other military points and sites to be protected, and estimation by the security services that it will take at least months until the security preparations required to establish settlements again in the area are completed.”

As for the Minister of Finance and Minister of Settlement in the Ministry of the Army, Bezalel Smotrich, the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, called for immediate punitive measures against the Palestinian Authority in response to the decisions of Norway, Spain, and Ireland to recognize the State of Palestine. Smotrich s requests were as follows, ‘holding an immediate meeting of the Settlement Planning Council in Judea and Samaria - West Bank - to approve 10,000 housing units in the settlements to be ready for professional development, including Area E1, and demanding the ratification of a decision in the cabinet session to establish a settlement in exchange for every country that recognizes the Palestinian state.
Smotrich confirmed in a letter addressed to Netanyahu that he -dir-ected the Settlement -dir-ectorate in the Civil Administration to prepare a strategic plan to plan three settlements and that he would present to the cabinet another decision aimed at canceling the “Norwegian path” that the cabinet approved a few months ago regarding clearing funds. Norway, after its recognition of the Palestinian state, cannot be a partner in anything related to Judea and Samaria -West Bank- and that he intends to stop transferring funds to it and demand the return of all transferred funds.
At the same time, the Knesset General Assembly approved in preliminary reading last week, a draft law calling for the annexation of lands in the occupied West Bank to Israel. It stipulates that the southern Hebron area is considered part of the Negev. The draft law, of course, didn’t constitute Palestinian villages and towns in the area under the title of annexation, but rather 15 settlements in the area, including “Kiryat Arba’” and a large number of random settlement outposts. The law was supported by 52 KM members, some of whom were from the Yisrael Beytenu Party, led by Avigdor Lieberman, and 37 KM opposed it. The text of the law presented by KM, Limor Son Har Melech from the “Otzma Yehudit” Party, headed by Itamar Ben Gvir, stated that it proposes to include all Israelis i.e. settlements and random settlement outposts, south of Line 115 within the definition of the Negev, and that the Negev area be included, from the south of Line 115 to the area to which the Negev Development Authority Law of 1991 applies.” Har Melech considered that this is an important law, and may stop the years-long discrimination and injustice against settlers in South Mount Hebron and Kiryat Arba’.
As for the Minister of the Negev, Galilee and National Immunity, Yitzhak Wasserlauf, from the fascist Otzma Yehudit Party, who commented on the law on behalf of the government, saying, ‘This law is a correction of an injustice and that the south of Mount Hebron is included among the threatened towns in mixed cities i.e. the historic Palestinian cities - Jaffa, Haifa, Acre, Lod, and Ramla -. The opposition leader, Yair Lapid, mocked the draft law and said, “Kiryat Arba is not the Negev. You have been stealing the peripheral areas for years, and today you have turned that into law. Negev is the Negev, Judea and Samaria i.e. the occupied West Bank - is Judea and Samaria, and Galilee is Galilee. Do not invent a geography that not exist. You steal money from ‘the towns of the Negev,’ Netivot and Ofakim, and from Kiryat Shmona, over 50 years, the settlements have been stealing the money of towns outside central Israel, and the Likud Party keeps silent.’

On another level, ‘B’Tselem,” revealed a plan by Netanyahu’s government, which aims to displace Palestinian shepherds from their lands in the occupied West Bank, in cooperation with groups of settlers, considering this part of the “Israeli Apartheid System.’ A statement issued by the center stated that it documented about 20 incidents during the past months of Feb. and March, during which settlers and soldiers from the occupation army, through various means, expelled Palestinian shepherds from grazing areas in the hills located south of Hebron Governorate, and that the process of expelling Palestinian shepherds is “part of an intentional pattern of action adopted by settlers to serve Israeli policy. The Center pointed out that the Palestinian shepherds’ communities in the West Bank are being displaced through a combination of authoritarian methods and practices implemented by official bodies such as the Civil Administration and the Army, and through an informal channel through acts of organized violence and harassment carried out by the Center.
During the last decade, dozens of settlement farms were established, supported by the State but without its official permission, prepared to seize pasture lands in Palestinian rural areas. It was revealed that “since Oct. 7, 2023, a very large number of settlers participating in the campaign have been recruited.” Acts of violence against Palestinians in the ranks of the army´-or-in the “preparedness´-or-emergency teams” and who were armed with military weapons. As a result of this, it is no longer possible today to distinguish between the actions carried out by these settlers under official orders and -dir-ectives from the military leadership.

Within the context, settlers established a new settlement outpost near the Al-Auja Spring, north of Jericho, where they brought housing equipment and established the new outpost 300 meters from the Al-Auja, knowing that they had established another settlement outpost 2 weeks before that. The settlement outpost was established to besiege the Bedouin population in the area and deprive them of natural water sources, in an attempt to forcibly displace them, while the settlers again attacked the ‘Arab Al-Malihat’ community northwest of the city of Jericho, and attacked citizens to displace them from the area.

List of Israeli Assaults over the Last Week Documented by the National Bureau:
• Bulldozing a plot of land of 4 dunams in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in the center of occupied Jerusalem, in preparation for a celebration for the settlers of the so-called “Feast of the Torch” at the beginning of the week. Large platforms were erected and sound and lighting devices were placed on the targeted land to hold the celebration, while severely restricting the people of the neighborhood and obstructing their movement, but the so-called commander of the home front in the occupying state had signed a decision to move the celebration to the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood after it had been taking place in "Mount Meron" near the occupied Golan. According to the decision, the neighborhood will be completely closed starting this evening/Saturday and for a period of 48 hours until before noon on Monday, as the city of Jerusalem, especially the Sheikh Jarrah and Wadi al-Joz neighborhoods, will witness strict occupation military measures. As for the extremist Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben Gvir, he stormed the courtyards of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, under the protection of the occupation police, for the first time since the Israeli aggression on Gaza on the 7 October. In a statement, he said, “We must control this most important place.”
• Expanding the ‘Otnael’ settlement and placed eight mobile homes outside the settlement fence established on citizens lands in the village of Karma and the town of Yatta, south of Hebron, threatening to seize more lands in the area.
• Attacking shepherds, causing the citizen Suleiman Youssef Abu Subha to suffer bruises, in addition to breaking his mobile phone, stolen 2 sheep in the “Haribat al-Nabi” area in Masafer Yatta, they also attacked a number of farmers from the Shatat family, tried to prevent them from harvesting their agricultural crops of wheat and barley in the “Aghziwa” area in Masafer Yatta.
• Beating shepherds, Mah’d Hassan Daoud, who sustained bruises and wounds, then transferred to Yatta Governmental Hospital.
• Storming the town of Sa’ir, north of Hebron, and carried out raids and searches, fired gas and sound bombs, which led to igniting agricultural lands in the town.
• Forcing citizen Nadi Abu Suway in the “Wadi Shekhit” area, one of the Beit Iskaria communities, located near the “Alon Shvut” settlement, south of Bethlehem, to leave his house.
• Attacking the western area of the village of Kisan, east of Bethlehem, and closed the main street, chanted racist slogans, including “Death to Arabs and Palestinians,” raised the flags of the occupying state on the wall surrounding the headquarters of the village council and prevented the movement of vehicles on the main street leading to the village.
• Demolishing a 4-story building located in the “Atan” area, in the village of Artas, belonging to Youssef Al-Atrash from the village of Al-Walaja, under the pretext of building without a license.
• Detaining Yassin Daadou s family and his sons in the town of Al-Khader, settlers, and prevented them from continuing to cultivate their land, before forcing them to leave it and never return to it again.
• Seizing about 6 dunums of land from the villages of Nahalin and Al-Jabaa under the name of a seizure order for military and security purposes, under number T/24/27, it is a measure that targets the lands surrounding the “Giv’ot” settlement established on the lands of the village of Nahalin.

• Notifying of the demolition and cessation of work and construction in 12 houses, in the town of Ni lin, west of Ramallah, 3 of which threatened with demolition, they are inhabited for more than 7 years, and some of those houses are under construction. They belong to the citizens Hamad Musa, Mishaal Musleh Moussa, and Hassan Yousef. Musa, Hamza Muhammad Musa, Atta Mustafa Musa, Moayad Youssef Musa, Bassam Sobhi Nafi, Malik Hatem Al-Khawaja, Mukhlis Jamal Shahwan, Ahmed Sobhi Amira, and Atta Salim, under the pretext of building without a permit.
• Setting up 2 tents on the lands of the town of Deir Dibwan, a group of armed settlers possess 200 sheep. Also, more than 30 settlers, protected by the occupation forces, set up a number of tents in the “Ras al-Jabal” area, which belong to the people of Um Safa, Deir al-Sudan, and Ajul, in preparation for confiscation.
• Storming the village of Jaljaliya, northwest of the city of Ramallah, and stationed there at the “Salaa” water spring.
• Injuring a young man, 21 years old by bullets in the village of Azmut, east of Nablus, after they fired live bullets at citizens while they were trying to extinguish fires that burned on their lands near the ‘Alon Moreh settlement’ established on village lands. He was taken to the hospital.
• Demolishing a car wash near the western entrance to the town of Aqraba, south of Nablus, belonging to citizen Jaber Bani Fadl. The occupation forces also seized a truck from the village of Duma, south of Nablus, used to transport wood. The head of the Yatma Village Council, south of Nablus, Ahmed Sanobar, said that hundreds of settlers attacked the village under the protection of the occupation forces and burned vehicles and large areas of agricultural land. They also attacked with stones a house located on the outskirts of the village.
• Burning agricultural fields in the eastern area of the village of Beit Dajan, also burned 15 dunums of wheat crop in the plain of the town of Sebastia, in addition to dozens of dunums, rooms, and agricultura along the road extending from the town to the Bazaria Junction, northwest of Nablus.
• Attacking the village of Asira al-Qibliya, shooting live bullets at citizens’ homes, trying to burn one of the homes there, and setting fire to areas of its land, settlers attacked a truck loaded with flour, near Jabal Subeih, which belongs to the Beita lands, south of Nablus, and destroyed part of its cargo,
• Delivering notices to stop construction and demolition in the village of Duma, south of Nablus. Head of the village council, Suleiman Dawabsha, reported that the occupation forces stormed the village and handed a number of notices to stop building homes and agricultural rooms, and to remove streets, infrastructure, and electricity and telephone poles. He added that the occupation soldiers photographed some of the homes that had previously been handed demolition notices.
• Bulldozing areas in the village of Jalud, in preparation for seizure, bulldozing is only a few meters away from citizens’ homes.
• Seizing a concrete pump in the town of Qarawat Bani Hassan, west of Salfeet, while working on a house under construction in the “Al-Makhlata” area, north of the town, owned by the citizen Izz al-Din Mar’i. Dozens of settlers gathered near the town of Deir Istiya, northwest of Salfeet, specifically in the areas of "Al-Duhur", "Al-Aqra ", and "Wadi Al-Shami", and on the main road leading to Wadi Qana and near the town of Kafl Haris, they attempted to attack citizens vehicles.
• Seizing a feed truck in Wadi Qana owned by the citizen Salloum Muhammad Ramadan in the Al-Mayadeen area.

• Seizing a house in the village of Jalboun, northeast of Jenin, belonging to the citizen Yousef Taher Abu Al-Rub and turned it into a military point.
• Preventing citizen Ahmed Hassan Abu Al-Rub from continuing to build his house, under construction, and prevented the farmer Tawfiq Mahmoud Abu Al-Rub from building an agricultural greenhouse.
• Confiscating a laundry and a house belonging to the citizen Rafi’ Rafiq Abu Al-Rub, for the 27th day in a row.
Jordan Valley:
• Attacking citizens vehicles with stones on the Al-Ma rajat road between the Ramallah and Jericho Governorates and caused material damage to them. The attack resulted in the injury of a 58-year-old citizen with bruises, he was severely beaten, and then sprayed him with pepper gas while he was traveling on the Al-Ma rajat road.
• Destroying nearly 200 dunums of agricultural land, and more than 1,600 dunums of pastoral land in the areas of Samra, Humsa, Makhul, and Al-Maksar, in the northern Jordan Valley, seized dozens of sheep in the “Arab Al-Malihat” Bedouin community, northwest of Jericho, belonging to citizen Abdul Latif. Atallah Suleiman.

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