Based on De-facto Settlement Expansion, Fixed Israeli steps to influence the End Results of the Conflict

Based on De-facto Settlement Expansion, Fixed Israeli steps to influence the End Results of the Conflict
 As a response to UNESCO’s General Conference vote on the 31st of October 2011 to admit Palestine as a Member State in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO),  the right -wing Israeli government headed by Benyamin Netanyahu approved a series of punitive procedures where it decided to expand and expedite the illegal settlement expansion in the Occupied Palestinian Territory along with suspending the transfer of more than 300 million NIS of tax money which Israel collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority in October 2011.
2300 New Housing Units
In a meeting for the inner Israeli cabinet (composed of eight Israeli Ministers) held in November 1, 2011, a plan to build 2317 new housing units in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank including East Jerusalem was approved. The approved construction plan includes 277 housing units in the illegal Israeli settlement of Efrat (west of Bethlehem Governorate, within Gush Etzion settlement bloc), 2000 housing units in Har Homa and Ramot settlements (south and north of Jerusalem city respectively, and another 40 housing units in Ma’aleh Adumim settlement east of Jerusalem city.

The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, indicated in the cabinet meeting that “the approval is a final approval to the building of the housing units and not just a bureaucratic step toward the aim, and the projects are new ones, not recycled projects like ones approved in the past and made to seem as if they were newly approved”. The Israeli PM added that the new construction approved is located within what is so-called “settlement blocs” that are to remain in Israeli sovereignty in any future agreement with the Palestinian Authority”.
52,000 + Units to be built in East Jerusalem within 20 Years
On November 6, 2011, and as a part of the Israeli series of imposing de facto changes on the ground to transfer the occupant’s civilian population into the OPT, the daily Israeli newspaper “Ma’ariv”revealed an Israeli plan which aims at building more than 52,000 housing units in the eastern part of the city of Jerusalem within the coming 20 years in line with a study that addressed housing shortage in Jerusalem which recommended the building of 60,718 housing units, 52,363 of which will be built in the occupied eastern part of the city. The study was commissioned by the Mayor of the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem, Nir Barakat. According to the Israeli newspaper the study includes:
  • 23,628 housing units have already been approved, 20,263 in East Jerusalem and 3,365 in the western part of the city.
  •  13,824 housing units are pending for review, 12,819 are in East Jerusalem and 1,055 are in the western part of the city.
  • 23,266 housing units are still in planning stage, 19,281 are in East Jerusalem and 3,985 are in the western part of the city.
The plan also includes building of 10,366 illegal housing units in the illegal Israeli settlement of Pisgat Ze’ev north of Jerusalem city nearby the Jerusalemite neighborhood of Beit Hanina, 5,239 housing units to be built in Gilo settlement south of Jerusalem city and north of Bethlehem Governorate, in addition to 4,886 housing units in Silwan town and in the Old City of Jerusalem. A spokesman for the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem told the Israeli newspaper that “the construction of thousands housing units over the next 20 years will allow the young Israeli couples and families to purchase apartments in the city”.  
Exclusionary & Expansionist Mentality
The Israeli colonial and expansionist mentality inherent in the Israeli political leaders has no limits, where the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and few days after approving new colonial plans to build more than 2300 illegal housing units in the West Bank including East Jerusalem settlements, gave instructions to Israeli Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman on November 6, 2011, to expedite the building of illegal settlement outposts in the occupied city of Jerusalem after the Israeli Supreme Court issued a decision to dismantle some of the illegal outposts erected by Israeli settlers in the West Bank 
The Israeli PM conduct came as a result of severe pressure practiced on him by the right-wing and extremist parties which are forming the majority of his government coalition, and not to adhere to the court’s decision and move forward with the building in the settlements and their outposts in all over the OPT.
The Israeli newspaper “Yediot Aharonot” quoted Netanyahu saying “We will not change our settlement policy despite of the international criticism and isolation because the building process is in accordance to the law”. In parallel with the Israeli executive organ acts toward imposing facts on the ground and moving forward with the settlement expansion, the legislative organ in Israel (the Knesset) is paving the way for unilateral and colonial expansion, where four right-wing blocs leaders in the Knesset are preparing a draft resolution to entitle the occupation authorities to  immediately confiscate any private Palestinian property that the Israeli settlers built illegal outposts on them during the last years in an attempt to legalize (under Israeli internal law) 153 illegal outposts out of 232 erected in all parts of the West Bank including East Jerusalem since the year 2001.
The draft resolution that would be submitted to the general assembly of the Knesset are prepared by KM (Knesset Member) Ze’ev Elken, head of the Likud party (ruling party in the Israeli Government), KM David Rotem, head of the legislation committee in the Knesset, Yisrael Baytenau extremist party headed by Avigdor Liberman, KM Yariv Lavin head of the administrative committee in the Knesset and KM Yaakov Katz head of“ National Union bloc”, where the four Knesset Members are living in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
Legal & International Status
The current Israeli government is moving steadily toward creating new facts on the ground to fulfill and satisfy its expansionist desire which is based on legitimizing  the appropriation of Palestinian property under its internal law to a greater extent, building and expanding the illegal Israeli settlements and their outposts, strangulating the Palestinian communities and interrupting its geographical contiguity by the construction of the Segregation Wall, eradicating entire Palestinian communities mainly in the Jordan Valley, depriving the Palestinian residents of the West Bank including East Jerusalem from their legitimate rights to own private property, build and develop on it  particularly in the city of Jerusalem so as to undermine the status of the city as a future capital of the Palestinian State, while  declaring it on a de facto basis to be  the united, eternal, undivided capital of the Jewish State of Israel.
Israel’s colonization of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) violates numerous United Nations Security Council and General Assembly Resolutions, primarily UN Security Council Resolution 242 (1967). UNSCR Resolution 242 calls for ‘the withdrawal of all Israeli armed forces from the territories occupied’ in the 1967 war including East Jerusalem.’ Accordingly, the Israeli settlements that were built in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since that time are illegal and must be dismantled instead of being expanded.
Also the, United Nations Security Council Resolutions such as 237 (1967), 271 (1969), 446 (1979),  452 (1979) ,465 (1980.
  • Resolution 446 March 22, 1979calls 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‘
  • Moreover, resolution 452 of 1979calls 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.’
  • Furthermore, theFourth Geneva Convention of 1949 provides in  the last paragraph of Article 49 that “The occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own population into the territories it occupies.” and Article 174 of the same Convention “prohibits the ‘extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.”
  • In May 2001, the head of the International Red Cross delegation to Israel and the Occupied Territories said that settlements are ‘equal in principle to war crimes’. (Note: ‘The transfer, the installation of population of the occupying power into the occupied territories is considered as an illegal move and qualified as a ‘grave breach.’ It’s a grave breach, formally speaking, but grave breaches are equal in principle to war crimes’, Rene Kosirnik, head of the ICRC delegation to Israel and the OPT, press conference 17 May 2001).

[1]  2,300 Units Approved in Efrat, Har Homa, Ramot, Maaleh Adumim
[2]  2,300 Units Approved in Efrat, Har Homa, Ramot, Maaleh Adumim

[3] רוב הדירות החדשות בי-ם: מעבר לקוהירוק
[4] רוב הדירות החדשות בי-ם: מעבר לקוהירוק
[5]  Netanyahu seeks to legalize outposts built on private Palestinian land
[6]  PM to settlers: Don’t build on private land,7340,L-4145144,00.html

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Categories: Settlement Expansion