A Plan for Constructing 800 Colonial Units in Ariel Colony

A Plan for Constructing 800 Colonial Units in Ariel Colony
Violation: a plan to build 800 colonial units in Ariel colony.
Date: November 9, 2010.
Location: the north eastern part of Salfit.
Victims: Al Zeer, Ishtayyah, and Al Madi families.
With the end of the “moratorium” period, on September 26, 2010, Israeli colonists have intensified the placement of mobile houses all around the West Bank. It must be pointed that the Israeli Colonies Council, supported by the Israeli Government, announced bids for the construction of 600 colonial units in various colonies.
It can be seen that the expansion rates are being much intensified; more than any other period during the last two years. Har Huma and Ma’ale Adummim were leading the expansion race in addition to Ariel colony were expansions have never stopped; even during the so-called “freeze period”.

Picture 1: Israeli dozers executing land leveling operations in
preparations for adding more colonial units
With the beginning of November, 2010; a bid for constructing 1000 residential units in Har Huma colony was announced while Benjamin Netenyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, was visiting the US and talking about a new moratorium.
According to Ha’aretz, an Israeli daily newspaper, a new bid for constructing 800 new residential units in Ariel colony. The colonial units are to be built over more than 150 dunums in the north eastern part of the colony. Parts of this area is specified as “state property” while the other parts are owned by various Palestinian families. However, the Israeli Occupation claims that the land is the property of one of the Israeli colonists residing in the colony. The construction of these units is sponsored and funded by the Israeli Billionaire, Avraham Shimai.
The endangered area have been included in the Israeli expansion plans placed in the 1980’s. The Israeli Occupation plan will have catastrophic effects on the Palestinians:
1.     connecting Ariel Industrial zone with Ariel colony and turning it into one colonial compound.
2.     Ariel colony was previously described as an Israeli City, despite the fact that it is within the West Bank borders. Such description excluded Ariel from any “peace agreement”.
3.     the expansion will cause the colony to surround Salfit city from the north and west. Thus, obstructing any development plans for the city and preventing the city planners from being able to cope with the city growth needs.
In addition, an art center have been opened in the colony on November 8, 2010; the construction of the center cost an estimate of $ 11 million.
Picture 2: the art center in Ariel. AP
Ariel colony is considered one of the largest colonies in the West Bank; the Israelis describe it as the capital of Samaria region. Its establishment started in 1978 with the signing of Camp David “peace agreement” between Egypt and “Israel”. Its establishment started with the confiscation of 500 dunums of the lands of Marda and Salfit city.
Nowadays, it covers an area of 20000 dunums; all of it are lands confiscated from the Palestinian villages of Marda, Kafl Haris, Eskaka, in addition to parts from Salfit city. During the years, it was turned into a city that includes a university and an industrial zone in its western parts; the industrial zone is called Ariel Western Factories.
Moreover, it includes a large residential compound and hotels. According to the latest statistics, it is inhabited by more than 16000 colonists. Its municipal area is 4 times larger than its built-up area which makes it capable of receiving more colonists in the future.
Ariel is considered a constant danger on the lives of the Palestinians and their future existence in the region. In addition to the catastrophic environmental damage it causes because of dumping its solid and liquid waste into the Palestinians agricultural lands.
Picture 3: Ariel Colony- Salfit

Categories: Settlement Expansion