By: Madeeha Araj
The National Bureau for defending of land and resisting settlement warned against the risks of the racist statements by Israeli officials, the latest of which a statement by the Minister of Transportation, Israel Katz during a symposium held in Jerusalem to mark the passage of 35 years on the bill of the annexation of the occupied Syrian Golan, to expand the borders of Jerusalem and to annex the surrounding settlements of (Ma’aleh Adumim, Gush Etzion, Givat Ze’ev and Beitar Illit) to Israel, merely giving the Palestinians and only self-rul. The National Bureau called on the International Community, especially the UN Security Council, to prevent such calls that intimidate the 2-state solution, and to hold its legal and moral responsibilities to compel the state of occupation, to respect the international laws and stop confiscating lands in the State of Palestine, and to abide by the international legitimacy and the international community’s will.
The National Bureau also warned of the consequences of PM Netanyahu green light policy to demolish more of Palestinian Arabs’ homes in the Green Line and the occupied East Jerusalem, as he ordered parties under his authorities to carry out soon the demolition orders of the unlicensed houses in the 48-Arab areas and east Jerusalem, and to find alternative solutions for the Israeli High Court’s order to evacuate the randomly built Amona outpost, which witnesses a severe debate among the Israeli public. Thus, the Bureau considered Netanyahu’s policy of “pay the price” against the Palestinians as a revenge on that. Later on, a temporary solution deal was reached following a round table talks between Netanyahu and the Jewish Home Party’s leader, Naftali Bennett under which Amona settlement’s housing units will be shift few meters away from its location to lands classified as absentee properties from lands classified as private properties both are Palestinians. Currently, the deal was presented to the leaders of the settlement, if they approve it, the government intends to submit a petition the High Court to postpone the scheduled evacuation of the settlement, until the settlers are voluntary transferred, and at the same time being compensated with a sum not less than NIS 500,000 per family. Following the much exerted efforts with the PM and the Gov’t’s Legal Adviser to hold the deal, we managed to form a scheme for Amona on the expense of the absentee properties, so we are abide to keeping Amona on the mountain, but the settlers rejected the deal which was presented to them for transferring the settlement to nearby Palestinians’ absentee property, and thus postponing the evacuation order until the buildings being built.
At the same time, the Israeli government unanimously has decided to grant various privileges to the Israeli settlements built in the West Bank as they were classified as “favorite town” according to Netanyahu’s point of view. Thus, 12 settlements, or “town” as they name it, received such privileges of which the tax exemption. It is said that more than 30% of settlements “towns”, which Netanyahu’s government decided to grant the status of “national priority” as well as exempting its residents of taxes, are built in the occupied West Bank, of which 130 random settlements, and that the tax exempted sum is, NIS 1,350,000,000.
Furthermore, the occupation municipality in Jerusalem and Israel Lands’ department pressure to build 115 new villas on the lands of the displaced Palestinian Lifta village in Jerusalem, and to renovate a similar number of old buildings in the village, and later on converting them into housing, shops, coffee shops and restaurants, claiming that the conducted geological studies in place won’t prevent the establishment of settlements neighborhood in the place.
Allowing the establishment of 36-floor towers at the main entrances of to the city, and 30-floor towers along the railway, as Nir Barkat’s municipality in Jerusalem plans to erect new schemes, will vehemently change its historical landscape.
Within the context of Judaizing the Jerusalem city, Netanyahu announced to launch activities of marking the so-called “golden jubilee for the unification of Jerusalem”, (for us, anniversary of subjecting the city under occupation). For her part, the right-wing Minister of Culture, Miri Regev revealed that an old tunnel stretches from Silwan neighborhood to the Al-Aqsa Mosque was newly discovered, and will be opened soon in parallel with launching of the “Jubilee” at the Jewish lights festival.
For their parts, Netanyahu and Regev criticized the UNESCO and its last resolution, which confirms the occupation and Jerusalem as well as Al-Aqsa Mosque are not related, where Netanyahu alleged that not only the Jews have relation with Jerusalem, but with all the historic Palestine, while Regev described the resolution as masquerades and is based on falsehoods and lies.
The National Bureau for the Defending of
Land and Resisting Settlement