Resorting to Scorched Earth Policy to Expand Efrat settlement

Resorting to Scorched Earth Policy to Expand Efrat settlement



The Israeli army yet again undermined what little credibility there was to Israel's ''unilateral cease-fire'' when on May 5th it fired on defenseless trees on a hilltop just northeast of Efrat settlement, near the Palestinian village of Artas; see map 1. .


The flames, resulting from flares shot from a military base located on an adjacent hilltop, scorched approximately 20 dunums (5 acres) of land, burning a number of olive trees. The trees belonged to Palestinians residing nearby; see photo 1[]  and photo 2.]  and .  and .



Residents fear that the Israeli authorities are interested in clearing the hilltop to make way for the expansion of Efrat settlement; see photo 3. . Map1 shows Efrat settlement creeping up from the south. Its northern outpost was established after the Wye River memorandum under former Prime Minister Ehud Barak. From the viewpoint of Israeli colonization, the move would be a logical step to expand the settlement and thus ensure control of Bethlehem's southern entrance; see map.



The burning of a few trees on a relatively small piece of land may seem inconsequential. But it highlights the deception of Israel's spin on the current fighting and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in general. The Israelis are working hard in a public relations campaign to convince the world that the current fighting is about the defense of Israeli security from Palestinian attacks and is trying to disassociate the issue of settlements from the fighting. This rhetoric hides the essence of the conflict: land. The Palestinians are fighting to resist the gradual colonization by a foreign power of what little land they have left. The burning of the hilltop near Artas and the threat of its confiscation by the settlement of Efrat is but one example of the daily colonization activities that make a farce of both Israel's ''cease-fire'' and its ''settlement freeze.'' If the Palestinians do agree to a cease-fire settlement growth will no doubt continue, as it always has. This undermines all confidence that a cease-fire with the Israeli's would mean anything more than acquiescence to being dispossessed from their land.

For more related information please see the following case studies:





Prepared by:
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem

Categories: Settlement Expansion