“Unilateral Actions Loom”
Drastic settlement expansion in Gush Etzion Settlement Bloc

“Unilateral Actions Loom” <br> Drastic settlement expansion in Gush Etzion Settlement Bloc


In light of faltering of peace process, which is actually an inevitable and predicted end as a result of the Israeli illegal and colonial practices that systematically carried out by the Israeli Occupation, the Israeli right-wing extremist government is moving steadily and intentionally toward fortifying its occupation and capturing of the Palestinian lands throughout unilateral illegal actions.

On June 5, 2014, the Israeli bulldozers started razing the Palestinian lands in Um-Mohammaden area south of Al-Khader town preparing for the construction of new housing units in the site. In an interview with ARIJ field workers, Mr. Tawfiq Salah, the president of Al-Khader Municipality, he stated that the Israeli bulldozers are working on 200 dunums of land located in Um-Mohammaden area south of Al-Khader and in the northern part of the illegal settlement of Efrat and owned by the local resident of Al-Khader for the purpose of expanding the outpost of “Giv’at Hadagan”. See photos 1-5




Photos for the construction in Al-Khader Captured by ARIJ


Giv’at Hadagan is an illegal settlement outpost established in the year 1995 inhabited by dozens of Israeli religious settlers. It is located in the far north of the illegal settlement of Efrat. Later on and on December 2011, the Israeli Ministry of Housing and Construction issued tenders for the construction of 40 housing units in Giv’at Hadagan instead of the 40 illegal caravans that was installed in the site in the year 2000, where as mentioned before the construction of the 40 housing units is a part of a larger plan to build more than 500 housing units n the new neighborhood which is awaiting of the final approval of the Defense Minister before issuing tenders for marketing and construction.

Today, the construction of the aforementioned 40 housing units had been finished while the Israeli authorities are preparing to the construction of the remaining 460 housing units in the site. See map 1:

Map 1: the location of Giv'at Hadagan outpost which is targeted with expansion

Al Khader is a Palestinian town in Bethlehem Governorate located at 4 km west of Bethlehem City. Al Khader is bordered by Al Duheisha camp to the east, Beit Jala city to the north, Battir and Husan villages to the west, and Wadi an Nis village to the south. The town populated by 11,673 residents (PCBS 2014 projections).

Moreover, and on June 6, 2014, what is so-called the Israeli land Administration (ILA) in cooperation with the Israeli Ministry of Housing and Construction approved a new plan to build 223 housing units in the illegal settlement of Efrat which is part of Gust Etzion settlement bloc west of Bethlehem Governorate.

To Conclude

I intend to advance law that will be title 'Metropolitan Jerusalem, Israel's capital.' The law will incorporate Jerusalem suburbs such as Ma’ale Adumim, Givat Ze'ev, Gush Etzion, and Beitar Illit into the city's municipal boundaries.” Israeli Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz-May 22, 2014.

"I have been closely following the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria in general and in the Binyamin region in particular, and I am happy to see the development. We are doing many things to promote the settlement enterprise,” he said, adding, “There is no security without the settlement enterprise. Where there is no settlement enterprise, there is no security” Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, May 28, 2014.

First Gush Etzion, Then All of Judea and Samaria……The world won't accept it, but we do…… I would promote the plan so that Gush Etzion will be annexed first – with the rest of Judea and Samaria to follow. ……. It’s about time. We have to apply Israeli law to Gush Etzion and then to Ariel and Ma'ale Adumim and the Jordan Valley, and then the all Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria,” Economy Minister and Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett- May 30, 2014.

The Israeli construction and expansion of Illegal settlements and outposts contradicts with the International law rules and conventions:-

  • Under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of, December 10, 1948, Article 17 reads: 'No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.' Which means it bans Israel from destroying or confiscating the property of the Palestinians at any case.
  • Moreover, articles 53 & 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 indicated that: Extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly. is a grave breach of the Convention.
  • Also Art. 23 of the Hague Convention of 1907 also provides:In addition to the prohibitions provided by special Conventions, it is especially forbidden to destroy or seize the enemy's property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war.
  • Article XXXI of the 1995 Oslo agreement 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”.

The existence of the Israeli settlements and outposts in the West Bank and their expansions are Illegal and contradicts with the international law rules, 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.”
  • 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.” 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).



Prepared by:
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem













Categories: Settlements