A settler living in an illegal outpost issues orders to demolish Palestinian homes

By: Madeeha Araj/ National Bureau for the Defending of Land and Resisting Settlement/

The racism in Israel is mostly reflected in every aspect of their life, the last of which came within the context of disclosing that Head of the Regional Unit to enforce the laws of planning and building at the Israeli Ministry of Finance, Adv. Avi Cohen, who is in charge of implementing the law of demolishing Palestinian homes, is living in an unlicensed building in the illegal Bilgi Mime outpost, built in 1984, on lands belonging to Qaryout, Saweiya and Al-Luban in Nablus Governorate, under a government resolution. Cohen was appointed 2 years ago as a Head of the Regional Unit to enforce the laws of planning and building, also called Regional Unit for Monitoring the Building.  Moreover, the Unit has the powers and authority to follow-up everything related to construction in cooperation with all planning institutions.

The settlement outpost, where Avi Cohen resides includes about 40-fixed and mobile building.  Noting that Eli settlement, itself is without a structural scheme, where part of it is in a private Palestinian land.  Within his work, Cohen was in charge of issuing demolition orders for buildings that were built without permits in Israel, and he was in charge of the administrative proceedings that ended with the demolition of 11 houses in the Qalansawa town. In 2001 – 2007, orders were issued to demolish all the buildings in the Bilgi Maime, which built on private Palestinian land, but nothing was done.  Thus, the occupying state provided a structural map for construction in the Eli settlement with excluding Bilgi Maime outpost, where adv. Cohen resides, but at the same time provided a fake mechanism to allow building in Bilgi Mime, named it as (initial building permits, so that the local authorities work in it under an approved structural plan, and issue building licenses thereto.

At the same time, the Israeli occupation government continues to defy the international community and refuses to comply with the UN resolution 2334 that criminalized the settlement, and demanded the Israeli government to halt its settlement activities, as the occupation government expands the settlement and land confiscation activities, following the Knesset has approved a draft law in 2nd and 3rd readings for recognizing the military occupation court’s resolutions in the West Bank as acceptable evidences in the civil proceedings at the Israeli courts, despite the the Israeli Attorney General’s prior warnings and international consequences if the law is passed. MK from Likud, Anat Berko, who submitted the draft said, the aim is to enable families of settlers, who are killed by Palestinian attacks, to get material compensation through civil suits.  Noting that, the law in real constitutes a form of annexation of the West Bank, and a process to legitimize the military courts’ resolutions.

Israeli parties and forces compete to enact additional laws of apartheid and annexation, the last of which was recently announced by the head of Land of Israel Lobby in the Knesset, Yo’ab Kish from Likud, and Bezalel Smutric from Jewish Home, to put forward a draft law that stipulates imposing Israeli sovereignty on the settlement of Maale Adumim that was built on a land belonging to Al-Ezareiya town, for voting next Sunday as the new US administration gets in office with a fundamental change towards handling the Israeli – Palestinian conflict and Israeli control of the territories.  According to their estimation, it is clear that the draft law to annex of Maale Adumim settlement seeks to apply the Israeli law on the settlement, and consequently on the area called E1, which was annexed to the settlement.

According to the initiator, Yo’ab Kish, who said, in case a dispute happened among the coalition members, it would agree to bargain, with keeping E1 area outside the territories that will be annexed, noting that the involved is about ​​12 sq km2, which was included under the municipality of Ma’aleh Adumim order, and surrounded it from the north and the west.  It should be noted that construction in that area that would separate the northern part of the West Bank from the southern one.  It is worth mentioning here that the settlement Act was put-forward almost 2 months ago, by the so-called Ma’aleh Adumim municipality, Regfem Association and the Council of West Bank settlements, through a wide campaign, led by the above mentioned parties.

Within the context, an opinion poll conducted earlier this month by the Israel Sameet Center, showed that 67% of the Jews in Israel are in favor of imposing Israeli sovereignty over the main settlements in the West Bank, and 73% support imposition of full Israeli sovereignty over the settlements of Gush Etzion south Bethlehem city. What is striking here is that nearly 25% of Jews, who vote in favor of the Zionist Camp and Meretz party, do support imposing Israeli sovereignty on the Gush Etzion.

Within the context also, Head of the Jewish Home Party, radical Israeli Minister of Education, Naftali said during a session held by his parliamentary party that a Palestinian state would sink Israel with refugees, added, we live days with long run political dimensions, and we must be vigilant, logical and monitoring the opportunities that may not be repeated as we stand at the crossroad, which gives us a choice between Palestine or our sovereignty.  Thus, the Palestinian state will not established or see the light in Judea and Samaria.  A position will be adopted by the Israeli government, which would clearly say, no for Palestine, and yes for Israeli sovereignty.

We would not support the creation of a Palestinian state nor we will extend our hand for that, and we will go ahead through the current Knesset to impose Israeli sovereignty over Maale Adumim, and other settlements.

During an investigation in a corruption case for Yisrael Baeitenu Party , the Israeli police discovered that Agriculture Minister, Uri Ariel, transferred funds to omit debts of a settlement company that works in the West Bank named the Samaria Development Co.  Thus, it is clear that a fund of NIS 2.4 million were transferred to a private company from taxpayers to the executive arm of Aamnah Movement, which is active in the field of settlement construction.

It is clear of the remarks of Meir Turgeman, deputy mayor of the occupation municipality in Jerusalem, and head of the local planning and construction committee that he intends to imposing collective punishment against Jerusalemites and that was actually translated on the ground of Jabal Al-Mukabir neighborhood in the occupied Jerusalem as it is imposed to a collective campaign of punishment by the Israeli police, municipality, security and ministries, including the withdrawal of ids and demolishing of houses.

The Israeli campaign included a resolution by the occupation Minister of interior, who ordered to withdraw 12 ids from members of Kanbar family, and the distribution of demolition notices against 81 houses in the Al-Kabnbar, Al-Jdeirh and Salaah neighborhoods, belonging to families of Al-Kabnbar, Al-Jdeirh and Salaah, under the pretext of being built without licenses, noting that 5 of the notified buildings were built since the 80s of the last century. Moreover, closing the main roads, which disturbed the movement of transportation, as well as people going to their works and students to schools, and hindered the ability to provide first aid, and invading several agricultural and commercial stores, asking their owners to leave the areas, and finally threatened to carry out the demolition orders.

The National Bureau considers the continued Israeli negligence of the international law and legitimacy, and the Netanyahu’s government daily flagrant violations against the international law and international legitimacy resolutions require the UN and its organizations to hold their responsibility for carrying out the resolutions related to the Palestinian Cause.