Israeli settlement Activities continue despite the latest understanding

Israeli settlement Activities continue despite the latest understanding


The Israeli Government allocates U$ 5,116,279 dollars to support colonies in the Palestinian territories (Yediot Ahranot, July 2003). Money will be invested for the development of Israeli colonies in Hebron and Gush Katif in Gaza as well as Rimmonim Kokhav haShahar and Mizpe Yeriho. In the same time, the Israeli Ministry of tourism with help from the Jewish National Fund organization will set an implementation plan for the establishment of a private park for settlers over a confiscated Palestinian land in Ramallah district. This park will be located near Bet El settlement.

According to the latest understanding between the Palestinian National Authority and the Israeli government, several illegal outposts are to be dismantled. In contradiction to this understanding, Givat Ertes located north-east Bet el settlement, an illegal outpost according to the Israeli government will be part of this park. According to the plan, deluxe illuminated promenades along with benches on both sides including an overlooking tower will be installed to assure a scope view over the valley where the Palestinian village A'in Yabroud is located. Not forgetting that Bet El and Bet El B colonies were established between the years 1977 and 1979 on land confiscated from the Palestinians villages of Beittin, Dura El Qare and Al Bireh.

''Givat Artes, is only the first step on the long way [expanding Bet El settlement to be joined with Ofra settlement from the east'.                                                      Head of Binyamin regional council, Esrael Rozenberg, Yediot Ahranot ,July 22,203

See Satellite image 


The red circle on the satellite image represents the expected location for the new park. The intension of cutting any Palestinian expansion of A'n Yabroud village as well as circulating the village from both sides is clearly shown on the map; Bet El from the west and Ofra from the east. In fact, at least four outposts have been established in the area adjacent to the above-mentioned colonies; Hill 857, Bet el East, T Junction (Givat Assaf) and Ofra south. See photo of Bet El expansion and outpost.


Photo courtesy of PEACE NOW

Furthermore, the Binyamin regional council which is in charge of Israeli colonies in Ramallah district admitted that there is a dispute over the canonical owning right of the land to be used. Yet, they are sure that this problem will be worked out by Bni Alon, Minister of tourism and Keren Kayemeth Lisrael that invested already thousands of dollars for the project.

In a report written by Haaretz correspondent Gideon Alon on July 24, the Israeli ministry of Interior reveals that the number of Jews living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip has risen by 5,415 since the beginning of 2003, with Betar Illit settlement as having the fastest population growth. Furthermore, the Israeli ministerial committee for social and economical affairs approved to give financial incentives to 200 Jewish families who agreed to move and live in the Jordan valley colonies. The financial incentive will be a scholarship covers the education of one member of the family. However, one condition has to be fulfilled; the place of studying must be in the college of Arial settlement.


Prepared by:  
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem


Categories: Settlement Expansion