By: Madeeha Araj/ NBPRS/
Plans to Judaize the Old City of Hebron are proceeding step by step amid international silence and the American support that encourages the occupation authorities to continue their policy. Following the Ibrahimi Mosque’s massacre, the occupation authorities divided the Mosque between the Palestinians and the settlers. More than one site inside the Ibrahimi Mosque can’t be accessed by Palestinian worshipers, while settlers are allowed to use the whole place at any time. For years, plans have been made to link the settlement of Qiryat Arba with other settlement blocs surrounding the Old City through demolishing and removing the Palestinian buildings from the area for a comprehensive judaization of the area extending from the settlement of Kiryat Arba to the entire Old City and Tel Rumeida. Plans of judaization also continued through the occupation authorities’ decision to establish a local council for the settlers and to prevent the area from the privilege of the Municipality of Hebron.
Last week, the Israeli government approved a plan to build 31 settlement units initiated by the War Minister, Lieberman, the first of its kind in the old town of Hebron since 16 years, it also agreed to allocate about NIS 21.6 million to build settlement units, kindergarten and public areas, where NIS 700,000 will be allocated to each settlement to be built in the heart of Hebron, in an area occupied by the Israeli army for security purposes. The target area was used until the 1980s as a main bus station, It was confiscated for security reasons for the establishment of a military base to protect the settlers in the city.
According to the law if those security reasons ended, the land must be returned to its owners and the municipality of Hebron is a protected tenant who rents the land. “The occupation authorities said the project was part of” the development of the Jewish community in the city of Hebron. A new Jewish neighborhood in Hebron will be built for the first time in 20 years, instead of a military camp,” said Lieberman. 31 apartments, 2 kindergartens and public halls will be built.
Within the context, settlers celebrated the opening of the “Talmudic Archaeological Park” in the center of the city of Hebron after the excavations in the Tel Rumeida area, which they took over in early 2014. The celebration was held in the Tel Rumeida, headed by the extremist “Uri Ariel,” Minister of Agriculture, Eli Ben Dahan, “the extremist” Shaul Goldstein, “the head of the reserves and natural communities in the occupation, and” Abraham Ben Yousef, “Chairman of the Council of Settlers in Hebron.
On the other hand, with the beginning of the olive harvest season, the settlers and the Israeli occupation forces attacked the Palestinian farmers, either by cutting trees, stealing crops or attacking farmers, blocking gates and preventing them from reaching their land to cultivate their olives. Nablus city has witnessed the highest number of attacks. Moreover settlers uprooted hundreds of olive trees and grapes in Bethlehem and Ramallah, destroyed and stole dozens of olive trees and assaulted citizens in Nablus and Qalqilia,
The National Bureau charged the occupation authorities with full and direct responsibility for this serious escalation in settler attacks and crimes to target Palestinians in their places of residence and homes, and to attack their property and crops. This calls for immediate action to stop the crimes of the occupation and its settlers, and to prosecute individuals and elements of Jewish terrorism and its various organizations.
In a follow-up to the Khan Ahmar’s file, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatu Bensuda, warned Israel not to deport or demolish the Khan Ahmar village considering it as a war crime. “The massive evacuation of property without military necessity and the transfer of populations in the occupied territories constitute war crimes” under the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court, said Bensouda. Within the context, clashes took place between dozens of Palestinian youths in the village of Al-Khan Al-Ahmar and the Israeli occupation forces who stormed the village, but the residents and the solidarity activists attacked them, injuring 7 citizens and arresting 4 others. The Israeli occupation forces also continued to impose a tight security cordon around the community, while the bulldozers resumed the Israeli occupation of the area and the settlers of “Kfar Adumim” flooded with sewage that caused great damage to the citizens and their livestock.