File photo: Gilo settlement looking over the village of Beit Jala

Thousands of new housing units along with new funds to expand settlement

By: Madeeha Araj/ NBPRS/

As a result of the anticipated international reactions, the Israeli government delayed the deliberations presented by the Civil Administration to construct thousands of settlement units in the West Bank, of which 30 units in the down town of occupied Hebron City, 2 kindergartens and a parking. Knowing that those deliberations get the support of the majority of the Israeli Cabinet. Moreover, the so-called Civil Administration is supposed to put forward a plan to build an alternative outpost for the Migron settlement, and it demands the government to approve the establishment of permanent homes for the settlers, who previously vacated their homes.

For his part, the Israeli Education Minister, Naftali Bennett, said settlers in Hebron have the right to build and expand like other West Bank settlers, and that years of settlement freeze in the heart of Hebron is enough and Netanyahu must approve the new settlement plan. Michael Oron said that the settlement construction plan in Hebron should not change despite political restrictions, adding that he also supports coordination with US representatives, but ultimately the construction plan must see the light.

At the same time, the so-called District Committee for Organization and Building in the occupied Jerusalem approved the construction of a tunnel connecting the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement with route 9 in the French Hill settlement. The construction includes 4-km tunnel networks.

In a remarkable move, the Israeli occupation authorities announced the annexation of 4 Palestinian villages west of Ramallah, they are Al-Tira, Beit Liqia, Beit Sira and Kharbatha-Mesbah villages, to become part of the Al-Ram instead of Ramallah, especially issuance of personal identity, and renewal and issuing permits. The advantage of these villages is that they are located on the opposite side of the settlement road known as 443.  The decision is a prelude to separating the residents of the villages from the city of Ramallah and the surrounding villages, especially as isolating of these villages took place in 2005.

In an exclusive interview with the Likud party in Jerusalem, contractor, Ilan Gordo, Netanyahu called for the promotion of construction as quickly as possible in the Giv’at Hamatos settlement built on the land of Beit Safafa, and to promote construction everywhere in Jerusalem. The construction plans in “Giv’at Hamtos” have been in place for several years, despite the existence of development and construction permits to build 2,600 housing units near the Beit Safafa town. Netanyahu said in his speech that he personally intervened on the issue and was making intensive efforts to build throughout the city, including in the municipality area behind the Green Line. He stressed, however, that in those areas (behind the Green Line), construction must be “gradual”, as time is playing a big role, meaning the American and European diplomatic pressure to stop building in the territories occupied in 1967.

In response to settlers’ claims of freezing settlement construction, Avigdor Lieberman revealed that 1,400 settlement units had been built and that there were about 10,000 units in a different stages of organizing. Adding as I look at the statistics from 2000 until today, I can say settlement is much bigger than ever. During his tour to the Jordan Valley, he unveiled a comprehensive security plan for the settlement, which is to be completed by mid-Nov. (in which settlements in the West Bank, the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea were considered as the real protective wall of the State of Israel. Liberman also requested the settlers to finance the construction of bypass roads, lighting networks and other works.

He also announced that his office is working to support the settlement, citing the Hebron settlers as a settlement council, adding the construction of 3500 new units has been approved and that there are 7,500 to 8,000 settlement units in the planning and approval stage. As for the civil administration, Lieberman said that he plans to expand it because it had 1100 employees before Oslo, although the number of settlers was about 100,000 but today they are 460,000, in return for 236,000 Palestinians next to them. We only have 307 employees now, so I am intending to double the number.

A list of the assaults documented by The National Bureau for Defending Land and Resisting Settlements Perpetrated by Israeli Occupation and Settlers over the last week

Jerusalem:

         Demolition of a residential building in the Zayyim village, near the Mount of Olives in occupied Jerusalem under the pretext of no license. The building belongs to Moh’d Awad Sairi’.

         Demolition of a car washroom in the Beit Hanina neighborhood north of Jerusalem.

         Handing over a number of demolition orders to residents of Al-Khan Al-Ahmar village between the Jerusalem and Jericho governorates. The occupation forces are pursuing the residents in order to force them leave the area, and confiscate the land in order to establish a settlement in the region, most notably the “I” plan, which separates the area from all parts of Jerusalem.

         Installing monitoring towers in the Bab Al-Amoud area 2 days after conducting security training with the participation of intelligence, soldiers and police.

         Intention to set dates for MKs allowing them to access “the yards of the Aqsa Mosque. This comes within a decision taken by Netanyahu, in which he announced that he intends to allow the invasion of ministers and members of Knesset to the Al-Aqsa Mosque after a year and a half of banning.

Hebron:

         Seven peace activists have been beaten in the Um-Khayr village in Mafar Yatta, south of Hebron.

         Three thousand settlers broke into the Ibrahimi Mosque on the occasion of Jewish holidays. They chanted racist slogans declaring that the city and its mosque are for the Jews, and raised racist slogans calling for the expulsion of Palestinians, and Judaization of the city.

         Noam Cohen, senior of settlers delivered a speech praising the project of establishing a municipality for settlers in Hebron.

Bethlehem:

         Halting work on rehabilitating an agricultural road in the Al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, funded by the Basque Cooperation and Development Agency through the Association for Cooperation for Peace (CPP), in the Wad Shami area, claiming to be “state land”, over the last 2 years, they prevented the Palestinians from access to their land, which is about 50 dunums.

Nablus:

         Breaking into Abu-Ayed Haniya in the Yanoun village. Hundreds of settlers stormed the town of Awarta, southeast of Nablus, under the pretext of performing their Talmudic rituals. Hundreds of settlers performed their Talmudic rituals at religious sites in the Awarta town.

Salfeet:

         Confiscating 45 donums belonging to the Zawiya town under the pretext of belonging to an Israeli company. Local sources said that “the confiscated land belongs to Abu-Naba’a family, located in Wadi Ismail behind the apartheid wall near the Mount Hilou where the former Jordanian army was located, the purpose of the confiscation is the expansion of buildings and apartments.

         Closing the entrance to the Kafl Haris town for the seventh day, eyewitnesses said: The army closed the main road with an  iron gate last year.

Jenin:

         Breaking into the evacuated settlement of Tarsla, near the village of Ouja south of Jenin. According to local sources, a group of settlers stormed the place under the protection of the occupation forces, and performed religious rituals, and chanted racist slogans against Arabs and Muslims.

Qalqilya:

         Seizing a bulldozer to prevent opening agricultural road to facilitate the passage of farmers in the Kafr-Qaddum village, and arresting the driver, Amjad Juma, 43, for several hours, and told him to stop the work on the road.