Photo Credit: Regavim
Illegal PA construction in Area C, in the Gush Etzion Arab village of Nahalin

The worst health crisis in the history of the state of Israel has encouraged the Palestinian Authority and illegal construction concerns in the Arab villages in the Gush Etzion area to significantly boost illegal construction sites, racing to establish facts on the ground in Area C, which is under complete Israeli control, before President Trump’s peace plan goes into effect.

Illegal PA construction in Area C, in the Gush Etzion Arab village of Nahalin / Regavim

US Ambassador David Friedman last week told Israel Hayom that the Trump peace plan includes the Israeli government agreeing to the freeze construction in half of Area C, and that the Palestinian Authority would also cease construction there (Warning: Ambassador Friedman’s Vision for Contiguous Palestinian State Will Become Joe Biden’s Policy). Apparently, the PA is aware of this, and is quickly establishing construction sites before the freeze.

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The slowdown in economic activity has led to a 30% cut in the activities of the Civil Administration inspectors, who are in charge of law enforcement in Judea and Samaria. As a result, over the past few weeks, a new neighborhood materialized in the open areas outside the Arab village of Nahalin, with several residential buildings, a power line, and preparation of additional plots for construction.

Aerial view of Illegal PA construction in Area C, in the Gush Etzion Arab village of Nahalin / Regavim

The new neighborhood in Nahalin is a direct continuation of the Palestinian Authority’s takeover of open space, funded by foreign countries, which include paving illegal roads from Nahalin to the southeast and agricultural works of terrace building and tree planting.

A few months ago, the Regavim Movement published its “War of Attrition” report examining the results of the Fayyad plan the PA issued about a decade ago, which includes a strategic plan to seize Area C. The report showed that in the last decade tens of thousands of illegal Arab homes have been built in Area C, in addition to an agricultural takeover of thousands of acres.

Salam Fayyad /  César (talk) via Wikimedia

Salam Fayyad was Finance Minister of the Palestinian Authority from between 2002 and 2012, and served as Prime Minister between 2007 and June 2013. In 2009, Fayyad came out with a plan to reform of the fundamental infrastructures of a Palestinian State, called “Palestine: Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State.”

“As we have warned, Nahalin’s story is a typical example of the severe damage done to law enforcement activity under the cover of the coronavirus crisis, as well as the Palestinian Authority’s race to seize specific tracts to counter the Trump plan,” said Yishai Hamu, Judea and Samaria Coordinator of the Regavim Movement.

Gush Etzion council head Shlomo Ne’eman sent an urgent appeal to Defense Minister Naftali Bennett, demanding the minister’s personal intervention in the field.

“If immediate and urgent emergency measures are not taken to curb this well timed attack, we will find ourselves in a few months with a reality on the ground that will not be reversible,” Ne’eman warned Bennett. “At this time, I am compelled to demand your personal and immediate intervention in both strengthening the supervisory unit and determining new emergency procedures for dealing with the special situation created by the coronavirus events.”

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