New Colonial Projects to take Place in the oPt for the Interest of the Israeli Settlement Enterprise
The Israeli extremist right-wing government, approved a new expansionist plans to expand the illegal settlements additional legalize illegal outposts, promoting of bypass roads public buildings water projects with the aim of fortify its colonial settlement project in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
On December 17, 2014, the Israeli daily newspaper “Haaretz” revealed on a new plans approved b y the Israeli Minister of Defense “Moshe Ya’alon” to evacuate three military bases to allow the expansion of three illegal adjacent settlements. Furthermore, Ya’alon has also ordered to promote new bypass roads and public buildings in settlements as we aforementioned above.
According to the newspaper the evicted military army bases should be moved to private Palestinian lands that will be seized for military use under security pretexts!
The idea behind the Israeli Ministry of Defense’ procedures is to claim that it was all about military constrains and that it might be hard to convince the court that it was actually for settlements. According to the reports there are three Military bases that are planned to be moved for the expansion of the settlements:-
- “Ashmoret Yizhak” military base near Kiryat Arba settlement- Hebron: couple of years before, what is so-called Israeli Ministry of Housing and Construction built 36 housing units near the settlement of Kiryat Arba’ on lands that were expropriated from their Palestinian owners and declared as “State Lands” and used by the Israeli “border police” for years while the settlers have been pushing for years to "return" the compound to their hands. The reported order of Ya’alon to evict the place could mean that we will see the settlers replacing the soldiers in the near future. The base located outside o the buildup area of Kiryat Arba, and establishing the settlement there will expand the settlement to a new area and will affect the private Palestinians lands between it and the settlement.
- Military Base in Alei Zahav settlement – like in many other settlements, inside the settlement of Alei Zahav, there is a small Military base occupying an area of approximately 4 dunums. Moving the base out will allow the development and expansion of the settlement, although it will not constitute a major change in the settlement.
- The Border Police base near Beit El – as part of the agreement between Netanyahu and the settlers following the eviction of the 5 buildings in the illegal outpost of Ulpana, Netanyahu ordered to promote the eviction of the base to allow a new outpost for Beit El. According to the Civil Administration regarding the status of the lands on which the army base is built: on the one hand the confiscation order from the 1970's for the establishment of the military base includes the lands of the Border Police base, which means that the lands were privately owned by Palestinians. On the other hand, , the lands are marked as registered as “State Lands”.
For the other developing plans to be implemented for the interest of settlers and illegal settlements it would be as follows: Establishment of 12 by pass roads for the benefit of the settlers, also conducting of surveys of Palestinian lands in order to declare them as State Land for the retroactive legalization of illegal outpost . Moreover the renovation of the “Cave of the Patriarchs”, in Al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, building new "Students Villages" – cheap housing for students in settlements, Water infrastructure projects.
1. The Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron constructing "pavement, elevator for the disabled, roofing".
2. New Colonial Roads (Bypass roads) : the construction of new bypass roads that would interrupt the geographical contiguity between the Palestinian communities while boosting the development of the adjacent illegal settlements. See the map below:-
3.Water Projects that include the improvement of water systems at the illegal settlements of Alfei Menashe, Bruchin, Mekorot booster at Kochav Yaakov, emergency water tanks at the Benyamin area, improvement of water systems at the “Benyamin” area ( illegal settlements in Ramallah and surroundings).
4. " Settlers ‘Students Villages", trailer homes for new immigrants settlers: encourage illegal settlers, students and new immigrants, to move to settlements. Through receiving accommodation and subsidies in return for living in the settlement and volunteering there.
5. Conducting of surveys of Palestinian lands : in an initial step toward confiscating more Palestinian lands for the interest of the illegal settlements . As an example and according to the Israeli interpretation of the “Ottoman land law”, these are not confiscations but only declarations on state land, which do not change the legal status of the land. According to this interpretation, if the land is not cultivated for several years, than it becomes the property of the public, i.e. state land!
As a matter of fact the overall goal of the aforementioned procedures is to enable the retroactive legalization of existing illegal outposts that were built on private Palestinian lands. If implemented, and the land is found to be not cultivated for several years, then the land will be declared as state land and the government could approve a plan for the outpost and make it legal!
See the pictures below as an example that shows the ongoing construction in the settlement of Efrat in Gutsh Etzion bloc west of Bethlehem Governorate:
Photos 1-3: the construction of dozens of new housing units in Efrat Settlement
in Gust Etzion Bloc west of Bethlehem.