Bethlehem/PNN/ By Madeeha Al-A’raj
The National Bureau for defending land and resisting settlements ( nbprs ) stated in its latest weekly report , that within the context of the settlement annexation policy, the so-called “Land of Israel” Lobby presented a racist draft law to the Knesset in order to impose “sovereignty” of the Israeli occupation on West Bank settlements under a plan drawn up by the Council of Settlements, where the Likud party unanimously approved in January 2017. The draft law stipulated the application of Israeli laws to all settlements established on the lands of the West Bank, knowing that the draft is racist in its essence and details, and violates the International Law and all international Covenants, Treaties and Norms, especially as it calls for the establishment of a mechanism to preserve lands that do not fall under the so-called Israeli sovereignty and prevent Arab or international control on the lands that will remain outside the map of Israeli sovereignty in the area classified according to the agreements signed between the Palestinian and Israeli as Area C.
For its part, the National Bureau for the Defending the Land and Resisting Settlement called for suspending the membership of the Israeli Knesset in all the relevant international parliamentary unions, and to submit indictments to the International Criminal Court. specifically against members of the Knesset, Haim Katz from Likud, and Bitsael Smotrich (Yamina) as they were presenting a racist bill that calling for legislation and encouragement of colonial settlement in the 1957 occupied Palestinian territories, and the denial of Palestinians access to their lands, and silent ethnic cleansing, which all fall under war crimes in accordance with Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and in accordance with Article VI, VII and VIII of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
At the same time, the occupied West Bank witnessed last week a new wave of land confiscation for settlement purposes, as the occupation authorities have fenced about 1,000 dunums in the vicinity of the archaeological site “Herdion”, east of Bethlehem, with barbed wire, and installed a military gate at its main entrance, and others gates in its surroundings. They isolated it from the town of Beit Ta’mur, and the communities adjacent to it. Within the context of the annexation and theft policies of te Palestinian land, Israel also closed and razed a historical road that exrends from the eastern Badia area of Bethlehem, all the way to the Dead Sea, called ‘the old road.’ These new procedures will lead to isolate Palestinian homes located around the site, and their residents will be subject to the mood of the occupation soldiers upon their in and out of the town.
As for the international reactions to Israeli annexation plans, more than a hundred French parliamentarians from all political directions demanded that the French president, Emmanuel Macron has to recognize the state of Palestine, and impose international sanctions on the Israeli government’s plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, so that ‘Israel must stop such irreformable act. They also demanded that the 27 European Union member States recognize the state of Palestine. And if does not happen, France can do this unilaterally, otherwise the State of Palestine will be like ‘Bantustan’, referring to the black ghettos erected during the apartheid regime in South Africa.
Moreover, 11 foreign ministers of European countries also sent a letter to the European Union, in which they called for the prevention of the Israeli occupation from annexing parts of the occupied West Bank, signed by the foreign ministers of Belgium, Ireland, Italy, France and Malta Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Finland, addressed to the High Commissioner for Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union, Josep Borrell. The letter states that ‘the possible annexation by Israel of parts of the occupied Palestinian territories continues to be a cause of grave concern to the European Union and its member states.’ The ministers expressed their concerns that “time is short” to prevent Israel from annexing land in the West Bank.