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December 6, 2016 / 6 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘area c’

Coalition MKs Propose Removing Diplomatic Immunity to Combat Illegal Construction

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

By Ilana Messika/TPS

MK Oded Forer (Yisrael Beitenu) tabled on Wednesday a bill that would allow European diplomats to be sued for supporting illegal Palestinian Authority construction in Area C.

The proposal would remove foreign diplomats’ immunity from prosecution if they undertake actions designed to assist in terrorism against Israel, human trafficking or illegal construction.

“Immunity granted to foreign countries, however important, cannot be used to legitimize activities which will as a consequence harm the State of Israel or its citizens,” stated Forer.

Forer added that should the bill be approved, it will make easier for the Israel to defend itself against such practices holding the EU criminally accountable for its diplomats’ activities.

Along with Forer, the bill was sponsored by 11 MKs from the Likud, Jewish Home and Yisrael Beitenu parties, along with Zionist Union MK Eitan Broshi.

The bill comes on the heels of protests by residents of Ma’ale Adumim, right-wing activists and politicians and in particular the Regavim organization against illegal construction in the E1 Area, the northeastern slope connecting Jerusalem to the Jordan Valley, especially the area around Ma’ale Adumim.

Last May, Regavim released a report accusing the EU of having turned from humanitarian aid and diplomatic assistance to active political intervention by supporting Palestinian Authority illegal construction. The group says the construction is an indirect move to create a Palestinian state on the disputed territory.

Regavim had initially filed a petition to the Israeli High Court of Justice in June in order to remove the EU’s diplomatic immunity over those violations, but the petition was rejected.

Also Wednesday, EU Representative Ralph Tarraf and Palestinian Authority Minister of Local Government Hussein al-Araj announced the inauguration of the first batch of EU-funded social infrastructure projects in Area C.

”The EU works with the Palestinian Authority to develop Area C and support the Palestinian presence there,” stated Tarraf.

“The EU supports projects promoting economic development and improving the quality of life of Palestinian communities in Area C in the areas of private sector development, the environment and agriculture. Area C is part of the occupied Palestinian territory and will be part of any viable future Palestinian state,” he concluded.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Fury Over Israeli Authorization for PA Arab Housing in Area C, Near Jewish Susiya

Friday, October 28th, 2016

A proposal by the Civil Administration has been approved by the security cabinet for construction of housing for PA Arabs in Area C, near the Jewish community of Susiya.

In a statement on Thursday, (Oct. 27), Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel of the Bayit Yehudi party slammed the approval of the plan, which came in a secret vote in mid-September, according to a report by Ha’aretz.

The proposal, initiated by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, comes as part of a plan to strengthen the presence of the moderate Arab population.

“The program’s goal is to do good by those prepared to live in co-existence with us, and on the other hand make things harder for those planning terror attacks,” Liberman said, according to Ha’aretz.

Ariel demanded a review of the plans by the full government at its weekly cabinet meeting this coming Sunday.

“I demand this be debated by the cabinet. Such a decision should be taken by the entire cabinet, not a secret cabinet that tries to hide it from other cabinet members,” he added.

“I hope it will be raised at the next meeting this Sunday and of course we will seek to thwart the idea raised by the security cabinet.”

In particular, objections to Arab construction in Area C are rising in light of the insistence by the High Court of Justice that the Jewish community of Amona must be demolished by the end of this year, despite the fact that the “private land” on which the community was built seems to be abandoned.

To this day, not one resident of the Palestinian Authority has come forward to claim ownership of the land on which the community is built.

Hana Levi Julian

DM Liberman Approves New Children’s Hospital for Bethlehem

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has approved the construction of a new children’s hospital for the Arab community in the Palestinian Authority-controlled city of Bethlehem, according to a report published by Haaretz.

Under the plan, the new medical center would be built near Beit Sahour in the northwestern section of Gush Etzion in Area C — an area under the complete legal and security control of the State of Israel. It would be built with funds donated by international organizations, including groups in the United States.

Although Liberman was quoted by Haaretz as saying the move is part of a plan to fight terrorism he revealed in August, it will still require the approval of the Civil Administration and will have to go through the regular planning process steps undertaken by all other building projects.

Israel has been forced to create a massive security infrastructure to keep visiting worshipers safe at the Tomb of the Biblical Matriarch Rachel, located at the entrance to Bethlehem, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, including the establishment of a military outpost at the site.

The checkpoint established there is staffed on either side by Israeli security personnel and by Palestinian Authority special police as well. Israelis are not allowed to enter Bethlehem.

Hana Levi Julian

Israel: Okay to Demolish 30 Illegal Structures in “Arab” Susiya

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

The State of Israel has the right to demolish 30 illegal structures built in the new and illegal Arab “village” of Susiya, according to a draft document to be submitted Wednesday to the High Court of Justice.

Although usually the Defense Ministry Civil Administration decides these issues, this time Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would make the call on whether or not to demolish the structures, rather than Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, the document stated.

The prime minister’s review would take until the end of October, after the completion of the Jewish high holy days, after which time the state would inform the Court whether the shacks would be legalized, or demolished.

The state warned the Court, however, that legal remedies would remain in place against any new construction that appears in the area after 2014, and that laws against illegal construction would be enforced.

The Regavim nongovernmental organization (NGO) has consistently researched and litigated the case against any new building by Arabs from the Palestinian Authority in the area, which is completely under the control of Israel.

Regavim is calling on Israel to demolish all illegal structures post-2014, regardless of international pressure.

The United States and the European Union have for months been pressuring Israel to legalize the village. The European Union has in addition been encouraging the Palestinian Authority to continue illegal construction in Area C. In some cases, this activity has actually forced Israel to demolish structures built with funding, or directly, illegally built by the European Union itself.

Due to the sensitive diplomatic nature of the issue, the matter was sent directly to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for attention.

The modern Jewish community, established in 1983 under the Mount Hebron Regional Council, is located next to the ancient city of Susiya, now an archaeological site featuring a 5th-8th CE synagogue with a magnificent mosaic floor, and the mosque that replaced it.

The site was formally declared an archaeological site in 1986 by the Israel Defense Ministry’s Civil Administration; the Arab population chose to locate its “village” precisely on the same spot.

The IDF expelled the squatters, who began with 25 families in 1986, despite opposition from the United Nations which claimed they were living in “houses” at the time. The Arab villagers were moved instead to a site few hundred meters southeast of the original ancient city.

Just 13 families comprised Arab Susiya in 2008. But as it became more fashionable in the international community to target Israel’s right to govern Area C of the Oslo Accords, Mount Hebron and the area around it rose to prominence as a key battleground. Arab Susiya did too, and by 2015 the “village” rose to its current population of 50 families, comprising several hundred people.

Hana Levi Julian

EU Spokesperson Condemns Israeli Demolition of Illegal EU Structures in Mount Hebron Hills

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

A spokesperson for the European Union External Action Service (EEAS), the European Union’s foreign policy branch, criticized recent Israeli demolitions of illegal Palestinian Authority Arab structures in Judea and Samaria, many of which were sponsored and financed by the European Union.

“The regrettable significant increase in demolitions of Palestinian structures by the Israeli authorities in 2016 appears to be continuing following the end of Ramadan,” the spokesperson said.

The EEAS spokesperson referenced the most recent demolition of EU-funded structures in Umm al-Khair, which is located in the Mount Hebron hills near the Jewish community of Carmel.

Arguing that such operations undermine Israel’s responsibilities as an “occupying power,” the EEAS spokesperson demanded a cessation to Israeli demolitions of illegal EU structures throughout Judea and Samaria.

“The Israeli authorities must halt demolitions of Palestinian houses and property in accordance with its obligations as an occupying power under international humanitarian law and to cease the policy of settlement construction and expansion, of designating land for exclusive Israeli use, and of denying Palestinian development,” the spokesperson insisted.

The spokesperson said that Israeli demolitions of the illegal structures raise doubts about Israel’s true long-term goals vis-a-vis the Arabs.

“As stated in the recent Quartet report, such a policy, including the recent high rate of demolitions, is steadily eroding the viability of the two-state solution and raises legitimate questions about Israel’s long-term intentions,” the spokesperson added.

The Quartet report, which was released in early July and accused Israel of “unilaterally” taking land “for exclusive Israeli use” in Area C of Judea and Samaria, also recognized Israel’s authoritative control over development in Area C.

“The Israeli military retains full authority over development in Area C, including planning and zoning for housing, industrial zones, tourism sites, and essential infrastructure, such as roads and electricity lines,” read the Quartet report.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Knesset Subcommittee Holds Session on PA Violation of Area C Control

Monday, August 15th, 2016

By Tzvi Lev/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Subcommittee held an emergency hearing on Monday in an effort to understand why Palestinian Authority policemen entered Area C during a confrontation over a waste disposal facility being built near the Israeli town of Michmash.

PA policemen had fired in the air at a joint Israeli-Arab protest against the construction of a waste disposal plant in Samaria on August 10 at the Rimonim Junction, north of Jerusalem. As the junction is located in Area C, it is forbidden for PA police to be present there without Israeli permission. The 1993 Oslo accords divide Judea and Samaria into Areas A, B, and C and stipulate that Israel maintain full control over Area C.

MK Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) declared that “it is unclear to me how IDF Central Command gave permission to PA forces to enter Area C, and I am not sure that a general or defense minister can even make that decision, which violates the Oslo Accords that were ratified by the Knesset.”

Major Ahiad Messika, who heads the control department of the Central Command, told the subcommittee that the PA police were allowed to enter in order to deal with the Arabs protesting the waste disposal plant. “We knew that a confrontation was expected between the Palestinian population from Ramun and the workers from the plant, and the regional brigade commander gave the order for PA police to enter and deal with the protesters. “

He added later that “we never expected that PA police would use live fire.”

MK Moti Yogev (Jewish Home) blasted the decision to build the waste disposal plant as well as the PA police’s action. “The shooting incident is the culmination of many one-sided decisions, which permit a German firm to build a waste disposal plant that exclusively benefits Palestinians in Area C,” he contended. “Instead of finding a solution acceptable to both populations, they are promoting a one-sided plan, which contradicts our laws and agreements.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Plainclothed Palestinian Authority Police Operating in Israel’s Area C

Sunday, July 10th, 2016

A Palestinian Authority newspaper, Donia Al-Watan,, reports that undercover PA police have begun operating in Area C in Judea and Samaria. The article reports they will now wear civilian clothing when operating in Area C.

According to the Oslo Accords, Area C is supposed to be under exclusive Israeli control and security. PA police are not allowed to operate there in any capacity according to the signed agreeements.

The Palestinian Authority decided they need to clean up the illegal weapons in the PA, after PA civilians opened fire on PA policemen and others in multiple shooting incidents and clan wars during Ramadan last month. The crackdown order came from PA president Mahmoud Abbas.

So far, four PA residents were arrested by PA Police in connection to the shooting incident in Shechem (Nablus) which left 2 PA policemen dead. Two of those arrested were in Area C at the time of their arrest.

In particular the PA police will focus there search for weapons in Shechem, Jenin and Hebron.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/plainclothed-palestinian-authority-police-operating-in-israels-area-c/2016/07/10/

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