Report: Israel is on the way to legalize outposts in the West Bank

The National Office for Land Defense and Settlement Resistance said that the approval of the Knesset last week in the preliminary reading of the draft law on settling outposts in the West Bank was not a surprising event for the Palestinians, and it is part of the settlement plan known as The "Deal of the Century" prepared by the Likud government and adopted by the Trump administration.

This bill was submitted by a member of Knesset, "Bezalel Smotrich" from the "Yamina" bloc, and 60 Knesset members voted for it, and 40 voted against it, at a time when the various relevant government ministries were obligated to provide all settlement outposts with infrastructure, electricity, roads, water, communications and transportation services.

The National Office pointed out that the successive governments of Israel have funded the establishment of these settlement outposts, directly and indirectly, and by joint work with settlement associations of all kinds, such as the "Hill 387" outpost established by the "Harroei Haifari" association, which aims, according to official Israeli records, to rehabilitate the "hilltop youth." Where the association gets fixed funding from the Ministry of Education worth hundreds of thousands of shekels annually, in addition to the ministries of housing, agriculture, settlement affairs, and others.

The human rights reports issued by Israeli civil society organizations against settlement indicate that the Israeli government has contributed to building at least 14 settlement outposts known to the Civil Administration without an official announcement since 2011, while there is talk at the present time about the legalization of 130 settlement outposts in various governorates of the West Bank. West Bank, including the Jordan Valley, is inhabited by about 10 thousand settlers, the vast majority of whom they call "the hillside youth" who are active in terrorizing the Palestinians, carrying out "paying the price" crimes, attacking the Palestinians, destroying their agricultural crops and preventing them from reaching their lands.

The proposed law stipulates that the government will grant legal status and work on the legalization of outposts, according to a decision issued by the Israeli Cabinet Small Council for Security and Political Affairs "Cabinet" from 2017, and until then, government ministries must provide basic services to the settlers who live in these outposts.

Prior to the approval of the bill, the Minister of Settlement Affairs, Tzachi Hanegbi, announced that the Israeli government is working on formulating a plan to legalize all outposts.

The interpretation of the law stated that “the government decided to organize and settle all the settlement outposts and the random settlement buildings that were built in the past twenty years. ".

46 outposts were chosen for the implementation of the first phase, where a team from the Civil Administration will be formed for the occupation to conduct a new survey of those lands on which the outposts were established at a cost of 20 million shekels, while another 15 million will be allocated to the Ministry of Settlement to conduct planning in these communities.

The government is not the only one who pledged to finance the establishment of outposts, as the settlement councils also formed sources of funding for the establishment of such outposts and a tool of the occupation government to impose facts on the ground and demanded its legitimacy, which it had.

The most prominent example of this is that the settlement council "Gush Etzion" handed over 1.6 million shekels in the years 2018 and 2019 for the development of illegal outposts. An amount of 900,000 shekels was allocated for the development of the settlement "Hafat Ra'im" (the shepherds' farm), and 20% financing. From the salary of the supervisor of this site in the "security" movement, according to data clarified by the settlement council of the organization called (Movement for Freedom of Information) after submitting a petition to obtain it.

In recent years, Hafat Ra'im has turned into a model for developing settlements and informal settlements in the West Bank, because its influence is greater than its size, as the livestock needs extensive grazing areas, and thus the informal sites have come to dominate expansive areas with the fewest number of settlers.

According to the sources of the National Office, the "Gush Etzion" Settlements Council spent large sums of money to buy a truck and build the "Barefah Nahal Halitz" site, agricultural tools, and a salary for the site supervisor in the "Amna" movement. It was also provided with housing trailers, reconstruction and infrastructure works, and the purchase of building materials for Bat sites. Ein, Hafat Yair, Kedar, Ghabrhot, Abi Hanhal and Bani Kedem, and the security movement is headed by Ze'ev Zambash, a senior settler and head of a Jewish terrorist organization.

Accelerating settlement activity

In this context, settlers rebuilt a settlement room on citizens 'lands in the Al-Baqa'a area adjacent to the "Kiryat Arba" settlement, which was forcibly established on citizens' lands east of Hebron.

Settlers also built tents in the Al-Jajma area in the town of Halhoul, north of Hebron, in preparation for building a settlement on the hills of the town, and they brought generators.

Yossi Dagan, head of the Settlements Council, called on the Israeli government to approve the continuation of settlement construction, especially a new settlement on the hills of Halhul, adding that the time has come to build a new settlement in the West Bank.

This approach coincides with the legalization of the settlement outposts, with the approval of one of the largest settlement plans in occupied Jerusalem, a plan proposed by the occupation municipality to establish 8,600 new settlement units, as the occupation government apparently exploits the last days of Trump's rule with the aim of creating facts on the ground that help open a future political path. In any upcoming negotiations.

The municipality of the occupation submitted this plan to the local planning and construction committee. The plan calls for building this large number of housing units, modernizing the "Talpiot" industrial zone and building a group of multi-use towers with a height of 30 floors.

The plan also includes towers for administrative, technical and office functions in the Green Zone extending from the lands of Beit Safafa, Al Malha, Baqa'a, and the new industrial zone "Talpiot" to the village of Al Walaja, in order to cross off the Green Line between East and West Jerusalem.

The danger of this settlement scheme is that it extends from 2021 to 2040 and includes the implementation of a range of public places such as parks, interior gardens, squares, streets, a market, and shaded streets with bike lanes, seating and rest areas.

As part of the plan, the celebration halls that are now operating in the industrial zone will be removed, garages will also be evacuated and removed, and construction will be expanded in the border area, which comes as an extension of the city’s borders with the "Gilo" settlement, and from there to Bethlehem, and the tunnels road to the community will be expanded. Settlement "Kfar Etzion", and adding two additional lanes to accommodate the wide settlement movement in 5 settlements with a density that may double in the coming years.

In Jerusalem, the occupation municipality intends to implement a new settlement project described as a "major facelift" for one of the most important tourist destinations in the city, represented by the Jaffa Gate in the Old City, and this project will completely change the place and will serve as a new tourist space, to become a tourist complex and to establish an underground museum, where Tourists and Israelis can access the area through several nearby squares, in particular contrast to other activities carried out by the El-Ad Settlement Association on the other side of the Old City.

The municipality also plans to build a settlement neighborhood for French Jews at the top of the Rababa Valley neighborhood. He prepared the necessary infrastructure for that in the area to turn it into a settlement, as happened with 11 settlements in the lands occupied in the year 67, when the occupation established the settlements of Givat Ze'ev and Gilo. And Ma'aleh Adumim and Jabal Abu Ghneim in the lands that were confiscated by the Nature Protection Authority under the pretext that they are green areas.

 

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