Israel Plans Theft of 10% More West Bank Land

Israel occupies Gaza, East Jerusalem, and the West Bank illegally. Its settlements, closed military zones, tourist sites, and commercial areas control over 40% of the West Bank, including its most valued resource rich parts – notably water.

Its expanding settlements steal more. When completed, its Separation Wall will control about 12% of the West Bank. In 2004, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled it illegal.

It said its route and associated gate and permit system violate international law. It ordered completed sections dismantled, and “all legislative and regulatory acts related thereto” repealed or rendered “ineffective forthwith.”

It also mandated reparations for the “requisition and destruction of homes, businesses, and agricultural holdings (and) to return the land, orchards, olive groves, and other immovable property seized.”

In addition, it mandated member states reject the illegal construction and demand Israel comply with international law. Few have. Israel defied the ruling. Construction continues.

When completed, it’ll extend over 800km. It’ll be twice the length of the Green Line, four times as long as the Berlin Wall, and in some places twice as high. Palestinian communities are destroyed. Many are isolated.

Thousands of Palestinians are displaced. Weekly protests are held. Israeli security forces confront them violently. Land theft continues daily. Israel wants all valued areas and Jerusalem as its exclusive capital.

Palestinian rights don’t matter. Neither do international laws or ICJ rulings. Only what it wants counts. That’s how police states rule – through barrel of a gun ruthlessness against opposition.

On March 30, Haaretz reported new information in an article headlined, “Israel Defense Ministry plan earmarks 10 percent of West Bank for settlement expansion,” saying:

“For years Israel’s Civil Administration has been covertly locating and mapping available land in the West Bank, and naming the parcels after existing Jewish settlements, presumably with an eye toward” expanding them.

Through Freedom of Information Law requests, anti-settlement activist Dror Etkes found out. In some areas, parcel boundaries coincide with Separation Wall routes. State authorities claim national security necessity.

False! It’s land theft, nothing else. Moreover, Civil Administration maps and figures “suggest the barrier route was planned in accordance with the available land in the West Bank.” It’s near settlements to expand them.

“Available,” of course, means portions Israel wants to steal, besides all previously expropriated.

In total, another 569 parcels were chosen. They include about 620,000 dunams, or about 10% of the entire West Bank. Stealing it along with Separation Wall land when completed and what Israel now controls, comprises well over 50% of the territory with more added daily. It continues en route toward leaving Palestinians isolated in separate bantustans on worthless scrubland.

Haaretz said Israel’s Civil Administration wants Shvut Rahel, Rehelim, Hayovel, Migron, and other outposts legalized. Its own High Court ruled Migron illegal. Months ago it ordered dismantling and its residents evicted. If challenged, it suggests similar rulings against all 100 unauthorized outposts would follow.

Of course, all Israeli settlements are illegal, as well as 12 annexed Jerusalem neighborhoods and East Jerusalem settler enclaves. International law is clear and unequivocal. Fourth Geneva’s Article 49 states:

“The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

Israel spurns it, other international laws, and its own when it comes to Palestine.

Etkes thinks settlers knew Civil Administration plans when building outposts. If so, it shows government complicity in what it calls “unauthorized.”

Maps obtained, in fact, name communities that don’t exist. They include:

  • Shlomzion on Palestinian Aqraba community land;
  • Lev Hashomron in Kafr Haja;
  • Mevo Adumin in Azariya and Abu Dis; and
  • Mitzpeh Zanoah and Mitzpeh Lahav in south Mount Hebron.

Maps marked 81 sites on 114,000 dunams in Palestinian controlled areas A and B. The remaining 506,000 dunams are in Israeli-controlled Area C. Over 90% of the land is east of the Separation Wall.

According to Dror Etkes, it “means the administration flouts the peace process, which is based on the two-state principle.” Stealing all valued land excludes the possibility. Of course, Israel always rejected Palestinian independence and does now.

Most earmarked Area C areas are classified state lands, despite all of them belonging to Palestine. About 7,600 dunams are called “Jewish land” and 12,800 remain unclassified.

In response to information now known, Israel’s Civil Administration said maps are a data bank. Occasionally they’re updated, and don’t reflect settlement expansion plans. Haaretz exposed CA lies.

On March 30, a Haaretz editorial headlined, “Listen to Marwan Barghouti,” saying:

“Jerusalem would do well to listen to” his prison call to resist Israeli repression, boycott its products, and stop negotiating with an all take/no give state.

Before Palestine’s second Intifada began, he warned it was coming. Oppressed people only take so much before reacting. “His words fell on deaf ears. No one heeded his warning,” and Palestine’s more brutally repressed today than then, especially besieged Gaza.

“But anyone who thinks, like the government does, that this situation can go on forever undisturbed, is leading into another cycle of violence.”

Barghouti always endorsed nonviolent opposition. “(W)e should listen to him before it’s too late. If a third” Intifada erupts, Israel won’t “be able to feign surprise. Barghouti warned us.”

Israel Confronts Peaceful Land Day Demonstrations Violently

Friday, March 30, was Land Day. Annually, Palestinians commemorate the March 1976 killing of six Israeli Arabs, injuring another 100, and arresting hundreds more. They were nonviolently protesting land theft.

Earlier this year, organizers called for peaceful rallies against “the policies and practices of the racist Zionist state.” Solidarity protests were expected in 80 or more countries.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said “(w)hen crowds from 80 countries move towards Jerusalem, they send a strong message to the Israeli occupation that no one can accept what they are doing in Jerusalem.”

Israel confronts peaceful demonstrations and gatherings violently. Friday was no exception. Haaretz said soldiers and police attacked protesters in Bethlehem, Ramallah, Qalandiyah, at various checkpoints, and other locations throughout the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.

Struck by a tear gas canister near Bethlehem’s Qubbeh checkpoint, Ali Arafe’s hospitalized in critical condition. So were others with bullet wounds and injuries from weapons fired at close range.

Thousands gathered around Jerusalem checkpoints, as well as Gaza, Lebanon and Jordan border areas.

One death was reported. Scores were hurt. Soldiers used tear gas, stun grenades, rubber bullets, live fire, sound bombs, a “scream” acoustic device, water cannons, and foul-smelling skunk water so concentrated a tiny drop can affect a 2,000 square foot house for days. Palestinians were also beaten.

Reporting live, Maan News said Adham Abu Salmiya was killed in northern Gaza. Demonstrations throughout the Strip continued all day. From border areas, Israeli forces used live fire. Protester Ebaa Rezeq said “(p)eople are falling here like flies. Blood everywhere.”

Numerous arrests were made. Critical injuries were reported. “Medics said the Israeli army used live fire to prevent protesters from approaching frontier barriers.” Israel lied claiming soldiers fired warning shots. Ebaa Rezeq said she saw them open fire on a crowd. At least six injuries resulted.

One Palestinian youth was severely injured when struck in the face by a tear gas canister fired directly at him from close range. The Red Crescent reported other serious injuries, requiring hospitalization.

A Final Comment

The Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies & Consultations presented its 11th report in its “Am I Not Human” series. This one’s a short book titled, “The Suffering of the Palestinian Patient under the Israeli Occupation.”

It addresses health sector abuse causing Palestinian suffering. Vast differences exist between what Jews and Arabs get.

Fatima Itani and Atef Daghlas presented a detailed analysis of healthcare under occupation. They included case study examples of suffering “exacerbated by Israeli obstacles and the difficult conditions of Palestinian health care institutions.”

They also addressed checkpoint and Separation Wall delays, as well as obstacles pregnant Palestinian women face reaching hospitals and clinics in time to give birth. They don’t always make it and must manage on their own with whatever help they can get. Some die. All suffer needlessly.

Gaza’s deteriorated sector’s also highlighted. Siege causes critical shortages of virtually everything needed to deliver care. Since mid-2007, 380 Palestinians died.

The book graphically discusses vast differences between Jewish and Palestinian care in terms of resources allocated, facilities available, and treatment adequacy because of what’s available to provide it.

Lawless “experimentations performed on Palestinian patients in Israeli hospitals” are explained. Those affected include children, the elderly and mentally ill, and others abusively treated. “It reveals the testing of serious drugs on Palestinian prisoners and the illegal trade of Palestinian human organs from corpses to treat Israeli patients, including soldiers.”

“This conduct fails to respect international covenants which regulate medical experimentations on patients.”

In addition, the book covers Israel’s willful prisoner neglect. They’re denied proper treatment. Sickness and disease results even after being released. Since 1967, dozens of Palestinian prisoners died in prisons. Many others when freed.

Israel obstructs foreign travel for treatment, as well as the ability of Gazans to get it in West Bank or East Jerusalem hospitals able to provide what Gaza facilities can’t. Getting permission isn’t easy. It often requires spying on friends, relatives and neighbors. In other words, collaborating deceitfully to receive vitally needed case. Most refuse and are denied.

Other topics include affects from frequent Israeli attacks. They target ambulances, medical personnel, and facilities providing care.

Using testimonies, images and graphs, updated information explains how Israeli abuse causes needless suffering, especially when vitally needed healthcare’s denied.

( / 05.04.2012)

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