By: Madeeha Araj/ nbprs/
The settlement activities in the occupied West Bank including Jerusalem have not stopped for a moment after US President Donald Trump’s visit to the region and his failure to address the settlements issue, which has accelerated its pace in the West Bank and Jerusalem. The Israeli Civil Administration has approved the plan to build a new settlement south of Nablus, which were evacuated several months ago.
The new settlement was approved by the Israeli political echelon on the basis of an earlier promise by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to build a new settlement after the evacuation of Amona outpost. The new settlement was approved at an Israeli political session upon a previous promise made by the Israeli PM Netanyahu.
Leaders of the Amona settlement welcomed the decision to build an alternative settlement for them, and to market housing units in it as well as allocate more land to expand the settlements, where Netanyahu has ordered to market 2,000 housing units out of the 5,700 units for settlers.
The McCorchon newspaper said that the Civil Administration’s Higher Planning Council i.e. the arm of the Israeli Army will hold a meeting next week to push plans to build 1000s of housing units in settlements built in the West Bank, as it will approve the building of 2600 housing units in the settlements since Trump took office. The Council welcomed the deliberations on that. Head of the Samaria Settlements Regional Council, Yossi Dagan told the newspaper that “over the last 8 years, Netanyahu was forced by the American administration i.e. Obama administration to stop building in the settlements. Today, in the Trump administration’s era, pretexts are over, we expect compensation and correction for the previous mistakes. Two Knesset members intend to propose a bill called “Greater Jerusalem.” The new law comes within the framework of accelerating Israeli policies toward Jerusalem and settlement in the West following Trump’s visit, which seemed to be a green light to continue settlement.
The draft law will be presented to the Knesset by MKs Yehuda Glick of the ruling Likud party, and Bezalel Simutrush of the Jewish House. The law stipulated to annex Jewish settlements to Israeli sovereignty including the settlements of Gush Etzion in the West Bank and the settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim in East Jerusalem. The Greater Jerusalem project includes the establishment of a council headed by the mayor of Jerusalem, including the heads of the settlement of Beitar Illit, Ma’aleh Adumim, Givat Zeev, Gush Etzion, Efrat and Kfar Adumim. The law comes under the occupation celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of the occupation of the 2 parts of Jerusalem.
Within the context of the ongoing Israeli attempts to create a new de-facto in Jerusalem in order to prevent any possibility of a future solution and to move towards a one-state solution, the state of apartheid. The Israeli government held its weekly meeting near the Al-Buraq Wall to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the occupying Jerusalem. NIS 50,000,00 plan was approved to develop a neighbourhood in the Old City in the occupied Jerusalem, and to establish elevators, and underground passages to reach the Jewish neighbourhood at the town up to the Al-Buraq Wall. The implementation of the plan requires large excavation works under the ground and under Al-Buraq courtyard, which also cause the Arab and Islamic monuments in the region to disappear. It also aims to turn the square into a centre for the Jews in order to take full control of that area. Netanyahu also announced a 5 years plan to develop infrastructure in Jerusalem in order to unified the capital as he said.
The Israeli government has also approved a new settlement project that includes the construction of a cable car linking the western part of Jerusalem with the Old City. The Ministry of Tourism has approved the first phase of the project with a cost of NIS 200,000,000. PM Netanyahu pledged to continue military and security control of the occupied West Bank in any peace agreement signed with the Palestinian Authority.
According to a poll conducted by Wala net, 42% of the Israelis considered that the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem are “liberated” lands, while 28% said they are occupied and 18% said they use the legal term ‘managed areas’.
According to a report by Human Rights Watch, 90,000 Jerusalemites are threatened with losing their homes as they don’t have building permits. The Israeli government has allocated 12% of the East Jerusalem land to the Palestinians, while 35% has been earmarked for building Jewish settlements. Thus, the annual report of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs of 2016 stated that “the policies and practices of the occupation continue to be the main cause of humanitarian problems in the occupied Palestinian territory.
The National Bureau condemned the resolution of the US Congress to hold festivals on the upcoming June 6th to mark the 50th anniversary of the so-called “reunited Jerusalem,” which will be attended by 100s of members of Congress, which was initiated by head of the Knesset and the Ambassador of Israel to the United States, Ron Dermer, who said that the US Congress’ move was in flagrant contradiction to the policy of the international community, including the United States, which does not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The National Bureau considered the US Congress to take this provocative step as a party to Israel’s blatant violation of international and humanitarian law.
At the same time, the National Bureau welcomed the position of the former prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, during a special discussion panel organized by Al-Quds University, and his assertion that the investigation conducted by the Office of the Public Prosecution in the International Criminal Court regarding the Israeli settlement in the West Bank, will undoubtedly condemn the Israeli leaders.
Over the Last Week, the Israeli Occupation Army and the Right-wing Settlers’ Violations were documented by the National Bureau:
- Displacing Palestinian citizens from the city of Jerusalem to change the demographic reality in favour of the Jewish settlers, depriving the Jerusalem neighbourhoods of the vital services is a live example on that. Despite the Israeli recognition of the critical health conditions in the Palestinian neighbourhoods, especially behind the wall, where more than 140,000 people are living there.
- Lack of water in the Jerusalem neighbourhoods, and the municipality does not issue permits for the construction of new water networks.
- Tender for the construction of 209 housing units in “Tel Zion”, the new settlement neighbourhood.
- Digging 2 large tunnels, the first towards the Maaleh Adumim settlement and the second towards the Pisgat Ze’ev settlement. The project will allow transportation from “Tel Aviv” to the Dead Sea as cars pass through the Arazim tunnels at the entrances to occupied Jerusalem, and continue to the French Hill.
- A group of extremist settlers poured concrete at the archaeological site of the Abbasid palaces, meters away from the Al-Aqsa Mosque’s wall, while scores of settlers broke into Wadi Hilwa neighbourhood in the Silwan town. They threw stones at houses and broke mirrors of some parked vehicles in front of some houses.
- Invading the Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyards to celebrate the so-called “Yom Kippur of the Torah”. Moreover, the last May witnessed an escalation in the number of settlers entering the mosque, where more than 2649 settlers entered the Al-Aqsa courtyards during the Jewish holidays.
- A group of settlers attacked a number of shops in the Ras area and Wadi Al-Husain, adjacent to the Kiryat Arba settlement in the center of Hebron; they threw stones and rubbish at them. Bassam Al-Jabari, a resident of the area, said settlers attacked his shop and many others under the protection of Israeli soldiers.
- Injuring, Maamoun Nassar during confrontations with settlers and the Israeli occupation army in the Madma village, Nablus.
- Invading the Sabastia town, and surveying the archaeological area in order to pave a settlement road in the area.
- The Qarioot citizens complained of the widespread of wild pigs in their town as they destroy their crops and cultivated land, which cost farmers large sums of money.
- Military training in the Aatov town, Tubas, and a checkpoint near its municipality as well as capturing a roof of a house.
- The transformation of Wadi Al-Matai Natural Park west of Salfit into a disgusting health place.
- Building more apartments and infrastructure in the Prokhin settlement at the expense of farmers’ land. Witnesses said that the settlement drains the land and pastures of the Bruqin town, and guards of the settlement expelling sheepherders in the area.
- Bulldozing the vicinity of “Rafafa” settlement that built on the lands of Deristiya and Haris. Eyewitnesses reported that bulldozers were seen over there, while excavation works are taking place.