By: Madeeha Al-A’raj/ NBPRS/
The National Bureau for defending land and resisting settlements (NBPRS) stated in its latest weekly report that in a continued defiance of International Law, resolutions of International Legitimacy, and the international community as well as the normalization agreements with the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Israeli Occupation Authorities recently and retroactively approved many settlement construction plans, as they approved last Thursday a building plan of 3,212 new settlement units in separate parts of the occupied West Bank, a month after the signing of the agreements of normalization under US sponsorship in mid-September.
According to the occupation army sources, the plan that was approved by the “Planning and Building Council at the Civil Administration” of the occupation army, is a continuation of the plan announced on Wednesday regarding approval to build 2,166 other units, bringing the total number to 5,400 settlement units.
As for the details of the approvals, as stated by the Civil Administration spokesman, the new settlement units are distributed over a number of settlements, including the construction of 500 settlement units in the settlement of Tzur Hadassah at the expense of the lands of the citizens in the village of Wadi Fukin. This is in addition to construction in the settlements Eli, Nokdim. In addition to the construction of more than 1000 units in the settlement of Beitar Illit near occupied Jerusalem, and 625 units in the settlement of Eli) deep in the West Bank on the lands of the villages and towns of Qarioot, Al-Sawiya, Al-Laban Al-Sharqiya, Sanjel and Tirmusaya, 560 units in Gilo settlement in the occupied Jerusalem, 286 in Har Barkha settlement, 181 in Einav settlement, 120 in Kedem settlement and 350 in Beit Eil settlement. They are all in the heart of the West Bank. This is the largest record in recent years of construction, and the Settlements Council Yesha said that efforts were made by settler leaders to resume construction again, stressing the need not to use construction in settlements as a bargaining paper in any peace or normalization agreements.
The NGO ‘Peace Now’, which opposes settlements, said that the settlement expansion indicates Israel’s refusal to establish a Palestinian state and strikes a blow to the hopes of achieving a broader Israeli-Arab peace. In a statement it saw that Netanyahu is moving forward with full force towards consolidating the de facto annexation of the West Bank, and that the Minister of the Army Benny Gantz, the acting prime minister in the coalition government led by Netanyahu also approve the construction plans. So, Israel is sending signals to the world about the support of the two most prominent parties in ending the concept of the two-state solution and the establishment of a Palestinian state, as the organization indicated in its statement that this construction is the highest since at least 2012 until now, it has counted the approval of building 12,159 units, indicating the possibility that the Planning Committee will meet to approve the construction of an additional number of settlement units before the end of the year.
Within the context and as part of the plan, the Civil Administration approved recently the occupation plan to many informal settlements (outposts) that were built without permission from the Israeli government. On the other hand, and in the largest operation of theft and piracy of Palestinian lands, the occupation authorities seized more than 11,000 donums in the Palestinian Valleys in favor of so-called natural reserves, where the occupation announced its seizure of 11,200 dunums for the benefit of 3 natural reserves there. Those reserves are located in Deir Hajla in Jericho, and the other is south of Al-Jiftlik near the settlement of Masawa, the third is east of Ein Al-Hilweh, and Farsiyeh in the northern Jordan Valley, in the area between the settlements of Maskyot and Rotem, which are located on the lands of citizens in the Jordan Valley. It is usually one of the ways in which the occupation authorities seize Palestinian lands, as many of the seizures fall under the heading of “natural reserves” that are later designated for settlement construction.