By: Madeeha Araj,
Israeli settlers recently committed a heinous crime in the Qasrah village, Nablus, as they killed citizen, Mahm’d Odeh, 48, while working at his land in the Ras Al-Nakhl area east of the village after extremist settlers from the Yash Kud outpost attacked him.. Fayez Fathi Hassan, 47, was also injured in the foot. The Israeli army justified the killing and said, he prevented the settlers from getting into his land. Israeli Minister of War, Avigdor Lieberman praised the settler, who killed Odeh in cold blood. He sent his sincere thanks and appreciation to the murderer, claiming that he defended the lives of a group of settlers there. Within the same context, former Israeli security minister, Moshe Ya’alon proudly said that he is the only Israeli official, who killed the highest number of the Palestinians and Arabs.
For its part, Israeli committee affiliated to the Israeli Ministry of Interior, has recommended to unify 4 settlements known as “Oranit,” “Alcana,”Sha’arei Takva,” and Watts Ephraim”and turn it into a city with 22,000 settlers, near Qalqilia city, in the West Bank, and to allow settlement construction in the areas between them that wasn’t legal before now under the International Law, and also opposed by some members of the International Community. The city is the second of its kind in 20 years after the settlement of “Ariel” south of Nablus. Estimation showed that the Ministry of Finance is expected to invest about NIS 100,000,000 to establish the new city.
In its recommendations, the committee claimed that such a city would be very important that it is close to the Green Line, a 5-minute drive from the Trans-Israel Highway – St. 6. Deputy Foreign Minister, Tzipi Hutovli commented on the idea by saying that unifying the four settlements and turning them into a city is a right and required step, “an important and clear message to the whole world that settlement is being strengthened and growing.” “It is very important at this particular time to establish a new city in the West Bank, and this is an important moment for Israel and the entire settlement,” said Welfare Minister, Haim Katz.
Moreover, the Israeli occupation authorities are doing their utmost to confiscate private Palestinian land in order to build a wastewater plant for Ofra settlements in the occupied West Bank, which was also illegally built on a private Palestinian land. It is expected that the Civil Administration will develop the arrangement of the plant, and confiscate the land after the approval and endorsement of the political leadership. Project maps will be discussed on Dec. 6th at the Subcommittee on Environment of the Planning Commission affiliated to the Civil Administration. After the hearing session, the occupying State will be able to confiscate land and retroactively gives building permits. The Public Prosecution requested the Supreme Court to allow it to use 45 donums in the settlement of Ofra, even though the land is a private Palestinian land.
In a follow-up to the settlement plans, the Israeli Ministerial Committee has approved the amendment of the “Basic Law: Jerusalem,” to allow the separation of the Shoafat Refugee Camp and Kafr Aqab from Jerusalem, the law will be presented to the Knesset in the second and third readings, it aims to minimize the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem through expelling about 150,000 from the Al-Azariya, Abu Dis and Beit Jala towns and the Shu’fat and Kufr Aqab camps as a first step, and to implement the so called “Greater Jerusalem”. Nine of the Knesset members supported the law, and seven opposed it. Perhaps what is happening in the Jabal Baba and the Bedouin in Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley is part of this plan.
In Jerusalem, the Planning and Building Committee at the Jerusalem Occupation Municipality is to approve the construction of scores of luxury apartments on a historic site in the Abu-Tor neighborhood in Jerusalem that overlooking the Old City. It is sacred place, and has historical and archaeological sensitivity. The above-mentioned municipality along with the Urban Renewal Authority approved the establishment of two settlement towers west of Jerusalem, comprising of 24-storey, with 230 new housing units that will be built instead of 6 existing structures. Moreover, the municipality announced the marketing of 92 new settlement units in the Pisgat Ze’ev settlement.
In the vicinity of Jerusalem, the Israeli occupation authorities officially announced to move the military checkpoint at the entrances of the Walaja village south of Jerusalem with a distance of 2.5 kilometers, which means grasping additional lands from the village. The checkpoint connects the city of Jerusalem with the Gilo settlement. Worth mentioning here that Walaja is located within the borders of the municipality, which has been completely separated it from its agricultural land. The District Planning and Building Committee in the Israeli occupation municipality has recently informed the residents of Walaja that the checkpoint was moved to include the historic Ein-Al-Ma’a, which the occupation built a “national park” around it that means preventing Palestinians from reaching it.
Within the context, the Israeli government approved an initiative presented by the Ministry of Tourism to allocate NIS 10,000,000 to specify a new route for the so-called “Israel Route” that will pass through the occupied Arab and Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. This initiative was adopted by the ministry based on a proposal submitted by the settler leaders, Yeron Rozentil of Gush Etzion. The initiative includes misleading explanations about what they call “historical relations between Jews and “Judea and Samaria.”
Israeli PM Netanyahu welcomed the decision, which he considered as “essential” to promote tourism and gives important political dimensions to re-delineate the Israeli borders to include the West Bank in the framework of attempts by the Israeli ruling right-wing and settlers to impose Israeli sovereignty and law on the occupied West Bank, and to consolidate the occupation and settlement in various forms.
On the other hand, a number of members of the Knesset’s Constitution Committee are considering a bill that would double the fee for petitioning the Supreme Court by the Palestinians to three times on the grounds that “the new human rights organizations work against Israel.” Member of Knesset, Yoav Kisch, the initiator of the bill, said that more than 1,000 petitions are submitted yearly by Palestinians or for their benefit. Therefore, raising the fees for those who do not hold Israeli citizenship aimed at minimizing and putting an end to such suits.
A list of the Assaults Documented by the National Bureau Perpetrated by Israeli Occupation and Settlers over the last week:
- Forcing a Palestinian citizen from Jerusalem, Jamal Omar Abu Tayer, to demolish his 40-square-meter house with his hands to avoid paying fines of 50,000 shekels.
- Breaking into the town of Esawiya in the centre of occupied Jerusalem, distributing notices to demolish a farm and several facilities for citizens under the pretext of building without a permit.
- Digging work in the cemetery of Kafr Aqeb, north of occupied Jerusalem, after invading the town, surrounded the cemetery from all directions, and prevented the citizens from reaching it.
- Confiscating 8 vehicles belonging to residents of the village of Beit Iksa that isolated by the Apartheid Wall and the settlements.
- Discussing a plan for the construction of scores of luxury apartments in the Jabal Mukaber, on a hill known as the Mount of Broken Counselling (the counselling of Yehuda Iskrioti to the hand over Jesus Christ), where it is believed that the Caiapha’s Palace, the Priest was built. The talk here is about a sacred site for all religions.
- Erecting 6 new caravans in the “Qab Al-Janib” area in the Old City.
- Attacking the child, Wadia Karam, 9 years, and the young, Ibrahim Fakhouri, 27 years, severely beaten them near the Ibrahimi Mosque, inflicting injuries and bruises for them.
- Demolishing “Brixa” in Beit Anoun, east of Hebron, owned by Abdul Hakim Zakaria Miswadi.
- Killing Mah’d Ahmad Odeh, 48, while he was working in his land in Ras-Nakhl area east of Qasra village. He was attacked by settlers from the Yash Kud outpost there. The Israeli army justified the killing saying he prevented the settlers from breaking into his land, thus they shot and killed him.
- Beating and injuring a number of citizens in an attack by the Yitzhar settlers near the Asira Al-Qibliya village. Scores of settlers attacked the eastern area of the village and threw stones at the houses.
- Demolition orders to the owners of barns for sheep and old houses in the Ezbet Abu Basal, west of Salfit, located scores of meters away from the settlement of Ariel.
- Establishing new settlement units around the ancient Citadel of Deir Simeon west of Kafr El-Dik village. Buldozing old walls and stones in favor of settlement expansion near the Zawiya and Deir Balut towns.
- Erecting 3 “caravans” at the entrance of the Sakot in the northern Jordan Valley and plaguing land in the area. Mentioning here that, more than 3,500 donums were returned for their original owners last year. However, settlers are trying to prevent them from doing so, and the occupation forces seized cards of a number of farmers.