Bethlehem/PNN/ Report By Madeeha Al-A’raj
The National Bureau for defending land and resisting settlements ( nbprs ) stated in its latest weekly report, that the fogy position of the new US Administration on the Palestinian – Israeli conflict has encouraged the Netanyahu Gov’t to go ahead with the settlement policy, as it started very recently to transfer the E1 area into a settlement project, knowing that such act was previously seen by the Administration as provocative and unaccepted act. Moreover, the new US Administration’s concern on the Israeli – Palestinian file is at its lowest level and gives green light to Israel to start robbing the area and turning it into a settlement area. Thus, started to open a bypass road near the Annata, Al-Azzareia, and Abu Diss towns east of the holy city through Al-Zaiem which means full control over the area in favor of the Ma’ale Adumim settlement, which is the largest one in the West Bank, and the building of about 12,000 settlement units. Consequently, isolating the city of Jerusalem from other Palestinian governorates, and completely isolating the northern parts of the West Bank from the southern parts.
It was also revealed that there was a plan for the occupation municipality in the occupied Jerusalem to establish expansion projects in the settlement of Pisgat Zeev north of the city, at a cost of NIS 350 million. The project includes building 900 new settlement units near the Malha commercial complex in central Jerusalem, commercial complexes, and a railway to connect Pisgat Zeev with the west of occupied Jerusalem. In the details of this settlement neighborhood, the so-called Israel Land Authority is seeking to approve a 205 dunum master plan that includes sports facilities and housing units distributed over 24 story buildings, in addition to 250 protected housing units, and offices of an area of 330 square meters. The cost of this project is estimated at about NIS 14 million.
In a scene indicating hateful racist behavior, the District Planning and Building Committee of the occupation authorities in Jerusalem rejected a structural plan for the development and expansion of the village of Al Walaja, claiming to preserve the natural landscape and traditional agriculture in the village, at a time when the committee itself approved large building plans in settlements in the area following the rejection of the development plan, 38 homes in Al Walaja are threatened with demolition, and demolition orders have been issued against it, along with dozens of other homes facing the threat of demolition in the village. The residents of Al-Walaja are prevented from building homes for them, claiming that there is no outline plan for the village. The villagers have sought to draw up a master plan for 15 years, with the help of the Israeli human rights organization “Bimkom”. However, the District Committee refused to consider this map.
Within the context of the policy of restricting citizens of the Jordan Valley and pushing them to leave their lands, the occupation army expels the Palestinian shepherds from the so-called ‘firing zones’ there, and at the same time allows settlers to stay there and build in it without obtaining permission to do so. This is evident from the Israeli army’s response to the freedom of information request submitted by the Israeli human rights activist, Attorney Itai Mack, following repeated incidents in which the army forbids the entry of Palestinians into grazing lands in firing zones, and settlers are allowed to do so. It is known that the occupation army declared about 45% of the area of the Jordan Valley as ‘firing zones’. In it, settlers are allowed to establish random outposts, and between this random settlement outpost in the northern Jordan Valley, as well as the random settlement outpost ‘Shirat Ha’asafim’ which was built in 2016 under the title ‘farm’.