An Israeli settlement plan to seize 1591 dunums of Palestinian land north of Jerusalem

An Israeli settlement plan to seize 1591 dunums of Palestinian land north of Jerusalem


As the highly contagious coronavirus spreads around the world, in Israel and the State of Palestine too, Israel is exploiting the state of emergency declared by the Palestinian Authority due to the outbreak of coronavirus and continues  with its settlement encroachment on Palestinian lands to expand Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, with the goal to impose new realities on the ground, that will become difficult to change in the future or even negotiate about with the Palestinians under any peace agreement.

In light of the world’s attention turning to confronting this epidemic, the Israeli occupation authorities advanced a settlement plan in the beginning of March 2020 that aims at expanding the Israeli settlement of Kochav Yacov located to the north Jerusalem city, outside the borders of the illegally and unilaterally redrawn Jerusalem Municipality boundary. The issued plan includes the building of 3541 settlement units on Palestinian lands belonging to Kafr Aqab, Burqa and Mukhamas communities; in a move that would undermine the territorial contiguity of these communities in the future and prevent any future Palestinian urban expansion in the area. The plan holds number 242 / מ. See Map 1


Map 1: plan number 242 / מ


It is worth noting that the area allocated for the implementation of this plan is 1591 dunums, as stated in the Israeli maps, and target basins No. 3 and 5 of Kaqr Aqab lands (west of the settlement of Kocav Yacov), in the areas known as ‘Al Barriya Ash Sharqiya’ and ‘Al Barriya Al Gharbiya’; and basin No. 10 in the village of Barqa (north of the settlement) and basins No. 14 and 17 of Makhamas village lands (east of the settlement). The plan aims to develop the settlement of Kochav Yacov, to accommodate the future urban needs of the settlement – until 2040.

The Israeli occupation authorities claim that the plan has been prepared in response to the “current urban shortage” that the settlement suffers from and to allocate “additional areas” of land for future residential construction and other urban needs such as public buildings, parks, commercial and industrial areas, etc.. The plan also includes the establishment of a road system within the settlement that will support the local development of the settlement therein, and ensure its territorial contiguity with the nearby Israeli settlements, especially those within the borders of the Jerusalem municipality.

Noteworthy here that it is not by chance that the Israeli occupation authorities published an expansion plan for the settlement of Kochav Yacov settlement [1], as this settlement, along with other settlements nearby (Adam – Geva Benyamin, Sha’are Benyamin, Ma’ale Mikhmas, Pesagot and Beit El) form a huge ‘settlement bloc’ or a ‘settlement finger’ that makes a ‘territorial link’ between the Israeli settlement blocs surrounding the city of Jerusalem and those in the northern West Bank and the Israeli settlements in the Jordan Valley. See Map 2



To conclude

Israel is trying hard to continue the illegal settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territory; On the other hand, Israel doesn’t hesitate to punish any Palestinian who builds without permit in areas classified as ‘C’ which, according to OSLO II Interim agreement of 1995, fall under the full Israeli control, security and administrative.

During the year 2019, Israel demolished more than 400 Palestinian homes, excluding other types of structures, and gave the green light for 85 settlement plans to be implemented in Israeli 42 settlements in the occupied West Bank, with more than 4000 settlement units to be built on an area exceeding six thousand dunums of Palestinian land, that is in addition to industrial areas and other facilities.

Israel’s colonization program violates the most important document of international humanitarian law- the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in a Time of War (hereinafter the Convention) and the Hague Regulations of 1907 which contains specific provisions outlawing Israel’s colonization activities. 

Article (49) of the Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, issued on 12 August 1949 – Part III states that ‘The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.’

Art. 56 of Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague IV); October 18, 1907 states that ‘ … All seizure of, destruction or wilful damage done to institutions of this character, historic monuments, works of art and science, is forbidden, and should be made the subject of legal proceedings.’



Prepared by:  
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem

Categories: Settlement Expansion