By: Madeeha Araj,
Over the 1st half of the year 2017, the Israeli Settlers’ Government escalated settlement activity in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, despite of the Palestinian, Arab and International’s criticisms, as tenders for building new settlement units in the West Bank during the first 6 months of this year exceeded threefold than that built over the last year in accordance to data issued by the National Bureau.
In a provocative way, Israeli PM Netanyahu laid last week the foundation-stone for a settlement outpost that consists of more than 1,000 new settlement units in the Beitar Ilit settlement on lands belonging to Palestinian citizens from Wadi Foqin village in the West Bank, boasted that no other government has worked for settlement like my government. Adding, a new road to linking the settlement of Beitar Illit with Jerusalem will be paved soon. Moreover, he pledged to provide all the requirements for the development of the settlement on the Bethlehem Governorate, bringing the number of its population to 50,000, to be one of the largest settlements on the West Bank.
Netanyahu boasted of his achievements as he called for building a new settlement to house settlers evacuated from the “Amona” outpost. He vowed to keep the 2 settlers in the building they captured in Hebron, and to execute the suspect of stabbing at the Hajamish settlement, and announce his consent to transfer villages and towns in Wadi Ara from the framework of citizenship and State as Avigdor Lieberman proposed.
As for the right-wing settler activist, Nadaf Haatsni. He called for the dissolution of the Palestinian Authority and the cancellation of the Oslo agreement, describing the authority as an enemy and cancerous malignant tumor that must be removed. At the same time, the Chairman of the Council of Settlements in the West Bank, Yossi Dagan announced his intention to fortify inside the Rajabi family’s building adjacent to the Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi, which was occupied by groups of settlers a few days ago.
On the other hand, the Israeli Ministry of Security announced that it had completed the construction of a section of 42 Km. of the separation wall that passes through the citizens’ lands between Tarqumiya and the Israeli Mitr crossing near the Mitr settlement, but didn’t mention the completion of the concrete walls, fences, trenches and closed military roads that is 712 km long.
According to Hebrew sources, Israel has begun planning to build a huge new wall underground on the border with Egypt and the Gaza Strip. It pointed out that the wall will be completed in a year, at a financial cost of NIS 3.4,000,000. Adding that the first stage of construction will be merely a km, and then the construction will extend to 3 KM.
The National Bureau for Defending Land and Resisting Settlements
condemned Netanyahu’s laying of the so-called cornerstone for the third stage of building 1100 new settlement units in the Bitar Illit settlement built on a private lands of the Wadi Farkin village, Bethlehem. The Bureau considered such a move as a provocative one by Netanyahu that comes within the context of frantic race carried out by his right-wing government to impose facts on the ground so as to completely block the chances of establishing an independent and viable Palestinian state. Moreover, the Bureau calls for immediate international intervention to put an end to the Israeli absurdity.
The National Bureau documented the following Israeli Occupation and Settlers’ Violations during the last week:
- The Light and Sound movie was shown in Silwan at David city as settlers call it. The “Light and Sound” dealt with what is described as the “return of Zionism” i.e. a return to the pre-2000 years.
- A decision to stick ownership of 3 large sites located in strategic places at the Old City of Jerusalem for the benefit of Israeli companies affiliated to “Ateret Cohnim” settlement organization.
- Returning to the displacement policy at the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in the occupied Jerusalem, and the continuation of Judaization of it. Among the families to be evacuated is the Shamasna family and 2 other families, who are supposed to abandon their homes next October, claiming that the building is located on land belonging to a Jewish family before the 1948 Nakba.
- During a provocative marches on the occasion of the so-called “temple ruin”, Jewish settlers in the Old City of Jerusalem harassed and attacked Jerusalemites and their properties and commercial shops. They also invaded the Old Jerusalem wearing T-shirts bearing a drawing of the Dome of the Rock, and chanted racist slogans that confirm the return to the alleged “Temple Mount.
- 23 Palestinian families living in the Al-Fhaydat Bedouin neighborhood, east of Anata village, Jerusalem, were informed of the demolition of their houses under the pretext of preventing construction in the area. Citizens were given 72 hours to object to the resolution.
- Bulldozing a land in the Al-Kharsa area south of Dura, Hebron to build a military tower near the Girls’ School. The tower located between the “Negihot” settlement and “Al- Majouna Military Camp.
- Throwing stones at houses in Um Al-Khair area, causing damage and spreading terror among the citizens, especially, the children.
- Closing a road leading to the central market in the Hebron city, in order to allow settlers visiting the so-called “Tomb of Athenaeus Bin-Qenz.”
- Four civilians were wounded when a group of settlers attacked a Palestinian village in the Wadi Al-Husayn neighborhood near the Kiryat Arba settlement.
- Citizens of the Khirbat Shushahleh near the Al-Khader town were forced to leave their homes at gunpoint in order to annex their lands to the Daniel settlement located on a private Palestinian land.
- Notifications to remove a 45-metr tourist tent erected on the Battir village’s land belonging to the citizen, Moh’d Obaid-Allah.
- During the last few days, a group of extremist settlers bulldozed a 10 donums land owned by Ibrahim Suleiman Sbeih, at the Wad Al-Ghwait area, west of the Al-Khader town, near the settlement of Sidi Bouaz, and placed 4 caravans in order to confiscate the land despite the fact that the Israeli Supreme Court issued a resolution to remove them.
- 13 notifications to demolish 9 houses, facilities and retaining walls in the Al-Walaja village, other orders were issued to demolish 70 houses in the area.
- Attacking the Qubar village, closing its main entrances with soil and stones blocs for the fifth time in two weeks.
- 10 mobile homes were placed on land belonging to the Jalood village south of Nablus, near the “Shvut Rachel settlement”, and bulldozing works to build a new settlement named “Amichai.”
- Moreover, Settlers are cultivating Palestinian citizens’ land in the Jalood village, near the Yosh Kadosh settlement, after the IOF prevented them from harvesting their 250 donums planted with wheat.
- Continued siege of the Azzun Atma village, south of Qalqiliya, and prevented the citizens from entering it.
- Pumping wastewater in the Beit Amin Valley, adjacent to the Azzun al-Atma village, causing health disturbance to the nearby Boys School.
- Expanding building at the Ariel Settlement’s University, built on the Marda village’s land, where new foundations of new units are being built to accommodate new students, some of which will reach 15 floors.
- Wounding citizen, Jalal Azzam, 42, in the leg after being beaten by settlers’ dogs near Tufoh settlement built on the Qira’s lands. Sheepherders and livestock breeders in all the villages and towns of Salfit complained about the reduction of pastoral areas due to the rapid expansion of settlements and the construction of the wall, which caused continuous and severe losses. Among the pastoral areas controlled by the settlements are Wad Abd Al-Rahman and Wadi Ra’aj, north of Salfit, which were completely isolated by the Wall.
- Scores of settlers accompanied by Israeli occupation soldiers and a military bulldozer stormed the Auja village, and erected tents and caravans near the village, at the Tarsla settlement. Settlers performed their religious prayers and chanted racist slogans against the Arabs and Muslims.