Israel annexes four new villages, increases civil administration employees

PNN /Ramallah /

Israeli announced its plan to dismantle four Palestinian villages near Ramallah, northern West Bank, and relocate their residents to the West Bank town of Al-Ram, north of Jerusalem, saying it will take care of changing and adjusting the population’s papers, including IDs and permits.

The villages, Beit Leqya, Beit Sira, Tira and Kharbata al-Mesbah, are all located on the opposite side of the settlement road known as 443. This road and the separation of the four villages’ will cause separating the central part of the West Bank from its southern areas.

In addition, the construction of the alternative Amihai settlement outpost which will replace Amona, it will cause separating the north part of the West Bank from its surroundings.

Therefore, the relocation process, and the settlement construction will cause completely dividing the West Bank into two parts.

These Israeli actions bring to mind the Israeli “four regions” plan that the occupation wants to impose on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip by separating the Gaza Strip from the West Bank and then dividing the West Bank into two areas, north and south, and finally keeping the center independent.

This decision is a prelude to separating Palestinians in the four villages from Ramallah and its surrounding areas, especially since the first annexation of these villages took place in 2005 when the Separation Wall was built along the settlement road 443.

Political analyst Rasem Obeidat said that this decision is the starting point to isolating these villages completely, and forcing the people to detour around villages in northwest of Jerusalem in order to be able to reach Ramallah.

He added that, There is also a greater fear that Israel will seriously annex all the areas classified as “C” according to the Oslo agreement, since they are classified in the agreement under the security and administrative authority of the Israeli occupation authorities, and they constitute two thirds of the West Bank.

Obeidat said to local media that such decision is meant to weaken the Palestinian Authority, especially if it’s linked to the Israeli plan of establishing an Israeli Council for the settlers in the heart of the Hebron city, southern of the West Bank, as well as the “E1” settlement plan that will expel Palestinian Bedouins from the vicinity of Jerusalem, and connect all the surrounding settlements in the city in order to expand the borders  and separate the West Bank into two parts.

Walid Assaf, head of the Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission, said in an earlier statement that the Israeli decision meant finalizing the 40 kilometers wide line of settlements separating the southern West Bank from its center. This plan became clearer with the starting of the construction of the Amihai settlement outpost.

Director of the cartography department in the Arab Studies Association, Khalil al-Tafkaji told local media that the occupation authorities increased the number of its civil administration employees instead of abiding to Oslo Accord and ending the work of this administration.

He stressed that this decision is a strong message from the Israeli occupation to the Palestinian Authority that they are the ones in control. It also means that Israel is trying to expand its boarders by annexing the area south of Route 443, which cuts through the West Bank. As well as the construction of railways throughout the Latrun area through a series of underground tunnels linking the Modi’in settlement outpost and the Palestinian Beit Iksa area in West Jerusalem are another proof of Israel’s expanding plan.

He added that  that Israel has tried to arrange a visit to the European Union to visit the tunnels and the railway, but they refused after they learned that the tunnels which Israel tends to construct will pass through the West Bank area.

Israel is seeking to reach the number of “million” Israeli settlers in the West Bank, especially as the current statistics say that the number reached about 650 thousand settlers in the West Bank distributed in 174 settlements and about 100 illegal settlement outposts , in addition to 100 military sites, twenty service sites and twenty-five industrial zones on the West Bank.

In its latest report, the Center for the Study of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), confirmed that a sharp increase in the confiscation of Palestinian land had reached 127% compared to last year.

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