Bethlehem/PNN/ By: Madeeha Araj,
The National Bureau for Defending Land and Resisting Settlements said in his latest weekly report , that the Palestinian people marked the 71st anniversary of the Nakba , amid major challenges, particularly escalating the Jewish settlement in Jerusalem and the entire Palestinian territories occupied in June 1967 aggression, and calling to impose Israeli law on settlements in the occupied West Bank. Reports stated that in 2017, an increase by 39% of expenses on opening roads, schools and public buildings in West Bank settlements, especially after the election of President Trump, whose policy encouraging the Israeli government to ignore international calls for a cessation of settlement activities, the rules of international law, and the resolutions of international legitimacy
Within the context, the Peace Now said in a new report that some 20,000 new settlement units have been built in the occupied West Bank since Netanyahu took office in 2009 for the second time by the end of 2018. About 630,000 settlers live in settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and that Israeli spending in the West Bank rose from NIS 1.19 billion ($ 426 million) in 2016 to NIS 1.65 billion ($ 459.8 million) in 2017, the first year of the Tramp in power. FIgures for spending on settlement construction in 2017 are the highest in 15 years, according to data provided by the Israeli Ministry of Finance. These figures include government spending only, which does not include construction and purchase of homes by individuals, companies or settlement associations, excluding spending in occupied East Jerusalem, which Israel considers its capital, although the vast majority of the world does not recognize its annexation.
In contrast, according to data released by the Israeli statistics department, 18502 settlement units were built in the West Bank during this second period of Netanyahu’s rule. Since the end of 2008 until the end of 2017, 120,000 units were built and 518 settlers have been transferred to the West Bank. Moreover, about NIS 10 billion ($ 2.8 billion) have been granted to settlements, including NIS 1.1 billion in 2016 and NIS 1.6 billion in 2017, and the construction of 2,100 new settlement units In 2018, representing a 9% rise over the annual rate in recent years. It is noted that 73% of the construction work 1539 settlement units are in isolated settlements. Plans were also made to build 5618 settlement units in 79 settlements in the West Bank and tenders for the construction of 3808 new units in 2018. Besides, tenders for the construction of 603 settlement units in East Jerusalem during 2018 have been announced.
On the other hand, a new settlement complex will be built on the northern side of the “Givat Ma’shava” settlement, comprising 706 units, including public buildings, trade and labor markets, and open areas for settlers. According to another plan, a building will be demolished on Route 5 in a neighborhood of the settlement of Nabi Yaqoub north of Jerusalem. Four new buildings, consisting of 13, 14 and 15 stories, will be built and will include 235 settlement units.
In the northern Palestinian valleys, the Israeli occupation army continues to implement the policy of ethnic cleansing by expelling shepherds and their families from the area which Israel considered in the early 1970s as firing zone no. 903, which prevents residents from caring for their sheep there. Despite the continued evacuation, residents are forced to sleep in the nearby valley under the sun and cold. The military training at the Hamsa-Fawqa area in the northern Jordan Valley caused fires in different parts of the pastures.
On the other hand, settlers continue their attacks on Palestinians and their property. They set up several caravans in the Deir Hatab village, east of Nablus, to set up a new outpost affiliated to the Alon Moreh settlement, 400 m far away from the village secondary school. Moreover, a number of settlers from the settlement of “Yitzhar fire dozens of acres of agricultural after they attacked the village of Asira Qableieh.
On the other hand, the last week witnessed the issuance of decisions that reveal openly the judiciary authorities tantalization with the settlers. The Israeli court decided to acquit the murderer of the Duabsha family, which is an explicit call to the settler gangs to continue their crimes against the Palestinians and their properties. In the case of the killing and burning of the Dawabsha family, the Israeli public prosecutor announced a deal with one of the defendants in the murder of the four-year-old crime. The charge of murder was dropped from the indictment and not charged with the killing and burning of the Dawabsha family, considering the act not a conspiracy to kill. In the year 2015, settlers committed the crime of burning the family of Dawabsha in their home in the village of Duma in Nablus governorate. An infant Ali, 18 month, was killed; his father Sa’ad Dawabsha and his mother Reham Hussein were also died.
Within the context, the Lod Central Court decided to release the murderer of the martyr, Aisha Al-Rabi in Oct. 2018 and the decision to release the 16-year-old killer came despite an indictment against him. Four other suspects had been released from detention to house arrest. In addition to this, the Israeli Military Prosecution announced the closure of the file of the investigation into the murder of Abu Thoria, who took part in the events of the return marches on the Gaza Strip border without taking any judicial action against any of the soldiers and officers, saying that there is no evidence that Abu Thuraya was killed by direct fire from the Israeli army while on his wheelchair raising the Palestinian flag. Abu Thuria, whose legs were amputated in 2008 due to wounds by Israeli air strike on the Gaza Strip, was killed by Israeli fire during the confrontation between the Palestinians and the Israeli army on the eastern border of Gaza city on Dec. 15th, 2017.