The Applied Research Institute “ARIJ” said that the first quarter of 2020 witnessed a remarkable increase in the number of settlement plans issued by the competent Israeli authorities to expand Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
These plans come in light of the relentless efforts of the new Israeli occupation government led by Benjamin Netanyahu to annex the occupied West Bank and annexation of the Jordan Valley and the application of Israeli law in a way that redefines the existence of the occupation state and the shape of its control over the land and the legal status therein.
The Israeli annexation is embodied in the imposition of Israeli law on the occupied West Bank, specifically on the areas classified as “C” in the occupied West Bank, according to the Oslo II interim agreement of 1995, and the settlements, spots, military bases, natural resources, quarries, archaeological sites, and water resources, which constitute about 61% of the occupied West Bank.
It should be noted that Israel was supposed to hand over the areas classified “C” in the occupied West Bank to the Palestinian National Authority at the end of the transitional period of five years, after dismantling the settlements and developing political solutions to some of the large groups of them, but since the conclusion of the agreement, the occupation authorities have dealt with Area C as its own lands – and not occupied lands that must belong to their owners – and considered it as a separate and separate settlement reserve that has nothing to do with the rest of the West Bank, and has nothing to do with the legitimate Palestinian original owners, and prevents or hinders any activity or development in it from The Palestinian owners have accepted any development of the infrastructure, as well as depriving the Palestinians of caring for agricultural lands, especially those close to the Israeli settlements that are established by force on these lands.
It is worth noting that the Israeli settlements are concentrated in the areas classified as “C”. And because areas classified as “C” are still fully under Israeli control to this day, during the past 28 years, after the Oslo agreement, settlement activities in them by building new settlements, expanding other existing ones, establishing many outposts, military bases, and bypass roads have been intensified. In the occupied Palestinian territories and the establishment of industrial zones, cemeteries, a transportation network, and other settlement activities that imposed a bitter reality on the Palestinian lands.
Regarding settlement activities in the Israeli settlements, an analytical study prepared by the (ARIJ) Institute showed that 31 settlement plans were approved in 26 Israeli settlements during the first quarter of 2020, and is awaiting “the start of implementation.”
The list issued includes the settlements of Kochav Yaacov, Kfar Adumim and Geafa Benjamin in the Jerusalem governorate (outside the borders of the Jerusalem municipality that was illegally and unilaterally annexed in 1967) by 4,078 settlement units over an area of 2,294 dunums of Palestinian land, which is the most affected Among the Palestinian governorates in terms of lands to be taken over for this purpose.
He added, “Areej”: Followed by the Ramallah and Al-Bireh Governorate, where the list issued includes the settlements of Beit El, Dolev, Talmon, Beit Aryeh, Hashmonaim and Hallamish with 1592 settlement units over an area of 1528 dunums of Palestinian land, followed by the Bethlehem Governorate with 1305 settlement units that will be established on 794 dunums of Palestinian land in the Beitar Illit and Nikodim and Neve Daniel settlements, Waferat and an industrial zone in the Beitar Illit settlement, in addition to the establishment of an industrial zone affiliated to the Beitar Illit settlement.
The plans also included a number of settlements in the Hebron governorate, namely, Telem, Assafar (Mtsad) and Shamaa, the settlements of Rekhalim and Ariel in Salfit governorate, the Shilo settlement in the Nablus governorate, and both the settlements of Maskiot and Shmdot Mekhoula in the Tubas governorate, and the settlements of Mitzpe Jericho and Beit Harfah in the Jericho governorate, And Shaar Tikvah settlement in Qalqilya Governorate, and Avni Haivets settlement in Tulkarm.
In total, and according to the issued plans, the number of settlement units to be built in all the previously mentioned settlements is 7892 settlement units, on an area of 6133 dunums of Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank.
The report mentioned examples of some of the approved settlement plans, including the settlement plan No. 426/9 – Betar Illit settlement: It includes the construction of an industrial zone near the Betar Illit settlement on an area of 633 dunums of surrounding Palestinian lands belonging to the towns of Husan and Wadi Fukin in the Beit Governorate Meat.
Plan No. 5/5 410 – Efrat Settlement: It includes building 694 settlement units on an area of 631 dunums of Palestinian land belonging to Artas, Al Khuder and Bethlehem in the Bethlehem governorate.
Plan No. 1/24/4 – The settlement of Asfar (Mtsad): This includes the construction of 215 settlement units on an area of 198 dunums of Palestinian land belonging to the villages of Shuyukh and Sa’ir in the Hebron Governorate.
Plan No. 501/1 – Telem Settlement: It includes building 157 settlement units on an area of 201 dunums of Palestinian land belonging to the town of Tarqumiya in the Hebron Governorate.
Plan No. 240/2/14/3/1 – Adam Settlement (Givea Benjamin): It includes building 375 settlement units on an area of 195 dunums of Palestinian land belonging to the village of Jaba in the Jerusalem governorate.
The settlement plan No. 227/24/22 – Kfar Adumim settlement: includes the construction of 132 settlement units on an area of 183 dunums of Palestinian land belonging to the town of Anatafy, Jerusalem Governorate.
Scheme No. 242 – Kochav Yaakov settlement: This includes building 3541 housing units on an area of 1591 dunums of Palestinian land belonging to Kafr Aqab, Mukhamas and Burqa in the Jerusalem, Ramallah and Al-Bireh governorates.
The settlement plan No. 1/3/234 – Dolev Settlement: It includes building 382 settlement units on an area of 284 dunums of Palestinian land belonging to both al-Janiya and Deir Abzieg in Ramallah and Al-Bireh Governorate.
The settlement plan No. 206/2 – Nili settlement: This includes building 354 settlement units on an area of 409 dunums of Palestinian land belonging to the village of Deir Qudis in the Ramallah and Al-Bireh Governorate.
The settlement plan No. 1/9/235 – Talmon Settlement: includes the construction of 258 settlement units on an area of 550 dunums of Palestinian land belonging to the villages of Ras Karkar and the tribal farm in the Ramallah and Al-Bireh Governorate.
The report stated that the construction and expansion of the Israeli government in Israeli settlements throughout the occupied West Bank violates many basic systems of international humanitarian law, including Security Council resolutions and the Hague Agreement of October 18, 1907, and the Fourth Geneva Convention on the Protection of Persons Civilians in Time of War of August 12, 1949, especially Resolution No. 242 of 1967, which calls for the withdrawal of the Israeli armed forces from the lands they occupied in 1967, and affirms the inadmissibility of the acquisition of lands by war, and the need to work for a lasting and just peace Every country in the region must live in it safely.
Likewise, Resolution No. 446 of 1979, which confirmed the illegitimacy of the Israeli settlement policy in the occupied Arab territories, including Jerusalem, and considered it a serious obstacle to peace in the Middle East.
And Resolution No. 452 of 1979, in which the Security Council calls on the Israeli occupation authorities to stop settlement activities in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, including Jerusalem.
And Resolution No. 465 of 1980, which demanded that Israel stop settlement activity and refrain from building new settlements and dismantle those established at the time, and also called on member states not to assist Israel in building settlements.
Likewise, Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, which declares that the occupying power is not entitled to transfer its citizens to the lands it occupied, or to take any measure that leads to a demographic change in it. Also, Article 147 of the same treaty, which declares that the destruction and usurpation of property in a manner not justified by military necessities, on a massive and unlawful scale, is a grave fear. Moreover, the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories stand as one of the most important obstacles in the face of the peace process more than ever, and even further, as the Israeli settlements have become a major obstacle to progress in the peace process.
(Source / 23.05.2020)