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Israeli Occupation Government Sanctions Expansion of Illegal Israeli Settlements by 850 New Housing Units, Amidst Settler Attacks in Nablus, Hebron

  Israeli gov’t sanctions the building of 850 housing units in WB

[ 07/06/2012 - 09:22 AM ]


The Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu has sanctioned the construction of 850 new housing units in four settlements in the West Bank.

Hebrew sources said that Netanyahu gave the green light for the building of those units in a cabinet session on Wednesday.

They added that the housing units would be built in Gush Etzion in Al-Khalil, Efrat in Bethlehem, Karni Shimorn, north of the West Bank, and Beit El in Ramallah, which got the biggest number with 300 units.

Netanyahu pledged to expand the settlements in the West Bank especially Beit El within his plan to link those settlements to the Jordan Valley settlements.

Ulpana Legalization Bill Fails; Government Decides To Build 551 Units

Wednesday June 06, 2012 17:00 by Sarah Snobar - IMEMC & agencies

The Israeli Knesset voted against the proposed 'Regulation Bill' on Wednesday. The bill would have retroactively legalized settlements in the West Bank. The bill was intended to avoid the implementation of a ruling made by Israel’s High Court that ruled in favor in evicting five homes illegally built in the Ulpana outpost.

The Israeli Knesset voted down a bill that was introduced in order to legalize homes built in the illegal Ulpana settlement, in Beit El, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah. Instead Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Housing and Construction Minister, Ariel Atias, decided to build 551 houses in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

During a preliminary reading at the Knesset of Wednesday, 69 members of Knesset voted against the bill, while 22 voted for it.

Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported that Atias said that the 551 news units that will be built were in addition to 300 units planned to be built in Bet El, as announced earlier on Wednesday.

117 of the new units will be constructed in the illegal settlement of Ariel, 92 in Ma’ale Adumin, 144 in Admam settlement, and 84 in Kiryat Arba’, Haaretz added. Commenting on the decision to relocate the Ulpana settlement neighborhood, Netanyahu stated that the decision “was not easy”, despite the fact that by, Israel’s admission, the settlement was built on privately-owned Palestinian lands. But he also stated that expanding Beit El settlement is a move that would strengthen the settlement movement.

Netanyahu added that relocating the houses in Ulpana comes as an implementation of a ruling made by the Israeli High Court due to the fact that they were built on Palestinian lands.

Haaretz noted that hundreds of settlers protested, close to the Knesset building, in support of the bill, and blocked off several roads in the area. Clashes also took place between the Police and the extremist settlers, and the police apprehended eight settlers, including extremist settler, Itamar Ben-Gvir.

The decision to build 551 settlement units, in addition to the 300 units planned in Bet El, is another blow to the international efforts meant for the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, as the construction and expansion of settlements was one of the main issues that pushed the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank to quit direct peace talks with Tel Aviv.

Israel’s settlement in all of the occupied territories, including in and around occupied East Jerusalem, are illegal not only under International Law, but also under the Fourth Geneva Convention to which Israel is a signatory (The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies. - Article 49, paragraph 6).

Multiple Settler Attacks on Thursday Morning

Thursday June 07, 2012 10:32 by Sarah Snobar - IMEMC & agencies

Palestinians in the West Bank were attacked in various locations on Thursday morning by settlers.

Courtesy of BBC

Settlers attacked Palestinian vehicles on Thursday morning in the south of Nablus and threw stones at the vehicles.

Ghassan Daghlas, head of settlement files in the north of the West Bank, said that settlers from Gilad settlement ambushed vehicles near the town of Hawara and attacked the vehicles by throwing stones.

He pointed out that many settlers organize themselves in the south of the city to attack Palestinian residents and their vehicles.

In Khader village, south of Bethlehem, reports that settlers from the Elazar settlement uprooted and stole metal corners and barbed wire that demarcated land boundaries of many farmers in the village.

Ahmad Salah, coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements in Khader, said that the land owners were surprised on Thursday morning when they realized their barbed wire and metal corners were uprooted as it covered an area of around two and half acres.

Pamphlets found on the farmers lands belonged to the Israeli group Women in Green, which is led by the extremist Nadia Matar. This group attacks Palestinian property with the aim to push Palestinians off the land so settlers can seize it.

Furthermore, settlers of Ma’un and Hafat Ma’un settlement, east of Yatta in the South of Hebron, attacked farmers on Thursday morning in the east of Yatta and forbade them from harvesting their wheat and barley.

Ratib al-Jabour, coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements in southern Hebron, said that the settlers, protected by soldiers, attacked the farmers and shepherds and prevented them from harvesting their lands and replant what the settlers had destroyed a few days ago.

Settlers Prevent Palestinians from Entering their Lands

Wednesday June 06, 2012 18:00 by Sarah Snobar - IMEMC & agencies

Settlers of the Sosia settlement in east Yatta, North of Hebron, protected by the Israeli military, prevented Palestinian families from reaching their agricultural lands on Wednesday despite a court ruling which gave Palestinians the right to be on the land.
An Israeli court ruled in favor of the Palestinians last year, returning the land to its original Palestinian owners.

Yet the settlers and soldiers prevented families from harvesting their land, claiming that the it was an Israeli military area.

Ratib al-Jabour, coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements in southern Hebron, said that this incident was an attempt to push the Palestinians off the land in order to expand the settlement.

Jabour called on all national and international bodies to intervene to put a stop to such activities that aim to push Palestinians off their lands.

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