An Attempt to Establish a New Jewish settlement on the Land of Abu Dis
Jewish settlers from the ''Elad'' Brigade and others attacked the land of the town of Abu Dis near Jerusalem on June 7, 2000. Under the protection of the Israeli Occupation Police, the Jewish settlers constructed a tent surrounded by a fence on this land. The purpose is to establish a new occupation status quo and build a new Jewish settlement named ''Kedma Tzion.'' The decisive Palestinian confrontation of and resistance to this attempt forced the settlers to remove the tent from the scene. However, the Israeli police is still guarding the fence on the land. Simultaneously, Israeli settlers are fooling around day and night and creating a real provocation to the inhabitants of the area.
Abu Dis Town at a Glance:
The town of Abu Dis is located to the east of Jerusalem. Its land extends over an area of 60,000 donums (according to the British Mandate basin surveying). It is bordered by the Dead Sea from the east, Silwan from the west, Alaizariya from the north and Alsawahreh from the south.
The population of Abu Dis is approximately 14,000 and has more than 4,000 buildings distributed on a masterplan of 4400 donums.
The Israeli Military Authority closed most of the land of Abu Dis, from the east until the Dead Sea borders, and utilized part of it for the building and successive expansion of the Ma'li Adumim settlement. The remaining is militarily a closed area. The Palestinian owners of these lands were prevented from using their land and squeezed inside the masterplan of the town.
Thieves are confiscating the land and the real owners have to prove their ownership:
In the mid of May 2000, teams from the Israeli Ministry of Interior and Jerusalem Municipality started surveying land inside Abu Dis, particularly in Abu Almasakeen basin in Almrooj area. These teams asked the owners of the land and houses in the area to prove their ownership to this land. At the same time, the Counselor of the occupied Jerusalem Municipality declared that the actions taken on the site are aiming to implement the project of building a settlement starting with 200 housing units on about 64 donums. The Department of Land in Israel and the racist American millionaire ''Muscovic,'' with whom the Municipality of Jerusalem has full cooperation, are claiming that they have owned the land for more than 50 years.
Supposing that their claims are true, why do the official and non-official settlers forget that there are more than 10,000 assets owned by Palestinians in the western part of Jerusalem occupied in 1948 ? Also, tens of thousands of donums have been owned by Palestinians for hundreds of years. Why do they forbid for others what they allow for themselves? Why do Palestinians not have the right to return to their houses and land?
Barak Government is Dreaming with Walls and Fortifications Peace:
All over the world, walls are falling and fortifications are being demolished. The Barlaiv military fortification line in Sinai collapsed under the willing of liberation; the barriers of racism were melted under the will of freedom and the famous Berlin Wall collapsed under the willing of national unity.
Does anyone in the world still think these walls are able to protect those who hide behind them?
Yes, the Israeli Government still thinks and believes that building a wall separating Abu Dis, Alaizareyah and Alsawahreh from Jerusalem is an introduction to solving unilaterally the problem of Jerusalem. This is what has been proposed by the Israeli Minister of Labor and Social Welfare. This is also what Barak – the Israeli Prime Minister- promised to the settlersâ?? leadership. This promise is based on a quotation from the holy book (Altawrah): ''to raise our Lords house, fortify its elements and to provide a wall in Judea and Jerusalem.''
Does Barak think that this wall he promised to dogmatic settlers in mid-April would force the Palestinians in Jerusalem to forget their land and houses?
When will he learn from history that walls will not provide security and peace, and will not be built on fragmentation, oppression and the stealing of rights?
At the beginning of this year, the Israeli Military Authority took over more than 650 donums from the land of Mount of Olives, Altur, Abu Dis and Ras Elamod to construct a colonial bypass road and the eastern belt. This belt is aiming to establish a link between Giva't Hamatos settlements on Beit Safafa land, Gilo south of Jerusalem on Sharfat village and Beit Jala land, and Jabal Abu Ghnaim and Kedar settlements southeast Jerusalem with the center of Jerusalem city occupied in 1948.
The Purpose of the Eastern Belt:
It is clear that from the establishment of the Eastern Belt around Jerusalem the Israeli Military Authorities are aiming to:
1. Translate its occupational expansion around the holy city to a complete isolation and stopping the Arab natural expansion that may lead to strong ties with the West Bank.
2. Change the occupation status quo in their favor before the final status negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis.
3. The Eastern Belt bypass road will lead to transfer the transportation line from south of Jerusalem (Bethlehem) to its north (Ramallah). The Israeli newspaper ''Call Ha'ir'' mentions in its 22/3/2000 issue: ''Jerusalem Municipality started in the last few months dealing with the road as a security one.'' This indicates practically on the ground the separation of Jerusalem City from its surroundings and natural connections. At the same time, this will transfer the transportation completely between the south and north of the West Bank outside the suggested occupation borders designed by Israeli Occupation Authority for Jerusalem City.
4. The purpose of taking over land in Abu Dis and building a settlement on it is to develop the settlements belt and completely fence Jerusalem and stop any Palestinian demographic connection with it.
The Israeli Occupation program represents aggression against the right of Palestinians to their land, and their right to move and reside on their land. At the same time, it is a severe violation to the signed interim agreements. It will certainly affect the negotiations of the final status issues.
The Jewish colonial program emphasizes that Barak is sticking to the mentality of his predecessor Bijamin Natanyaho, but is accompanied by peace pretending and avoiding provocation. Barak is implementing what Natanyaho planned, but with more additions. Barak's government has an image of a peaceful government, which makes it difficult to compare with the Natanyaho government. During Barak's first few day, he started building Jabal Abu Ghnaim settlement. Then, he built Ras Elamod settlement. In his era, he decided to build a new settlement on Abu Dis land. These actions were undertaken in Jerusalem alone. In the West Bank and Gaza Strip, land confiscation, house demolishing, killing innocent civilians and the policy of torturing and oppressing Palestinian detainees and prisoners are still going on.
Such a mentality and approaches, full of severe violations to the signed agreements, will setback the peace process and charge the area with tension.
The Land Research Center