New Colonial Neighborhood in the Illegal Israeli Settlement of Beit Hagai

New Colonial Neighborhood in the Illegal Israeli Settlement of Beit Hagai
On January 31, 2010, the Israeli Minister of Science and member of the Likud Party Benny Begin took part in the ceremony of laying the cornerstone for a new neighborhood in the Illegal Israeli settlement of Beit Hagai in Hebron Governorate, south of the West Bank area. The new neighborhood is planned to have 10 new housing units. During the ceremony, the Minister assured that Israel will continue building in Israeli settlements which are part of the land of Israel and bring more settlers to live in them, he said: ‘We are building and we will build in the Land of Israel.  There are “300,000” residents in Judea and Samaria, and there will be tens of thousands more”.

Map 1: Location of Beit Hagai Settlement in Hebron Governorate
Despite the proposed Israeli settlement freeze that was declared by the Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in November 27, 2009 which excluded the city of Jerusalem, the construction activities in Israeli settlements in the West Bank did not stop, but rather, several announcements of new settlement projects had been declared especially in the city of Jerusalem.
Settlement Overview
Beit Hagai is one of the 28 Illegal Israeli settlements, which Israel built in Hebron Governorate. It was built in the year 1984, on 990 dunums of lands confiscated from Dura and Hebron cities (Table 1). Today, 552 Israeli settlers populate the settlement.
Table 1: Lands on which Beit Hagai settlement was established
Locality Name
Area occupied by Settlement (Dunum)
Source: Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARIJ), 2010
Legal & International Status
The existence of the Israeli settlements is Illegal according to the international law rules and conventions, and according to the United Nation Security Council Resolutions. The Illegal Israeli settlements are considered a grave breach of many International conventions and agreements such as:
  • Article XXXI of the 1995 Oslo agreement provides that: Israelis forbidden from building or planning to any project or settlements or any colonial expansion or any plan that lead to change the status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The article provides “Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations”.
  • Furthermore the Forth Geneva Convention also states in Article 49 that “The occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own population into the territories it occupies.
  • United Nations Security Council Resolutions such as 237 (1967), 271 (1969), 446 (1979), 452 (1979),465 (1980.
  • Resolution 446 March 22, 1979 calls on Israel to rescind its previous measures and to desist from taking any action which would result in changing the legal status and geographical nature and materially affecting the demographic composition of the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem and, in particular, not to transfer parts of its own civilian population into the occupied Arab territories’
  • Also the resolution 452 of the 1979 “calls upon the Government and people of Israel to cease, on an urgent basis, the establishment, construction and planning of settlements in the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem.