Photo Credit: Courtesy of Regavim
Illegal PA school on Israeli-controlled Area C land.

Salam Fayyad is probably the only legitimate hero of the future Palestinian State, should we have one someday, God forbid. And it is Fayyad—not Yasser Arafat or Mahmoud Abbas—who has earned the right to be immortalized on the Palestinian version of Mount Rushmore.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, April 10, 2012. / Issam Rimawi/FLASH90

In 2009, then-Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad announced his plan for the de facto establishment of a Palestinian State within the 1967 borders. The main objective of the Fayyad plan was to blur the boundaries between Areas B, A, and C to bring about the de facto annexation of Area C, which constitute about 62% of the land in Judea and Samaria and are under full Israeli control—at least on paper, said paper being the Oslo Agreements.


The Fayyad plan works by creating a territorial continuum from Samaria to the southern slopes of Mount Hebron. Through the construction of tens of thousands of illegal structures, road breakthroughs, land takeovers, and land registration, agents of the Palestinian Authority have been establishing facts on the ground for more than a decade.

A man of vision, with a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin, Fayyad sounded like the Palestinian MLK, or, if you prefer, a Palestinian Herzl, when he declared in 2012: “Statehood is not something that’s going to happen to the Israelis, nor something that’s going to happen to the Palestinians… It is something that will grow on both sides as a reality… creating a belief that this was inevitable through the process, a convergence of two paths, the political and the process, from the bottom up and the top down.”

As a result, while the IDF and Israel’s other security forces can handily capture, eliminate, and jail Fatah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad terrorists, Israel is powerless before the Fayyad campaign of tenacious treachery which is supported enthusiastically by the European Union, a favorable Western media, and soon by Israel’s biggest ally which is busy these days ending its alliance with the shocked people of Afghanistan.

A new report by the Regavim movement that was unveiled on Tuesday reveals that over the past 12 years, the Palestinian Authority has established one hundred new and illegal schools in Area C, most of them with international funding.

Illegal PA school on Israeli-controlled Area C land. / Courtesy of Regavim

An analysis of the data shows that about 30 of the illegal schools were built on state lands and survey lands – areas which by definition should have been allotted to Israeli settlements – but never will be. Seven illegal schools were built inside IDF live-fire training areas; four inside nature reserves; six inside archeological sites; and three on private land.

Here’s another combination of Fayyad-style cleverness and chutzpah: 19 of the schools were started on Area B lands, but were expanded without a permit to adjacent land in Area C.

Frankly, one is reminded of the brilliant Homa U’Migdal (Tower and Stockade), the settlement method used by Zionist settlers in Mandatory Palestine during the 1936–39 years of the pro-Nazi Arab revolt. The establishment of new Jewish settlements was restricted by the Mandatory authorities, but the British gave their tacit approval to the Tower and Stockade outposts which the Jews argued were a means of countering the Arab revolt. Using that legal fig leaf, some 57 Jewish settlements, including 52 kibbutzim and several moshavim, were established throughout the country.

Reconstruction of the Negba Homa U’Migdal settlement. / MathKnight and Zachi Evenor

Sadly, the smart settlers in today’s version of the story are Palestinians, and the dumb government are the Israelis. The success of the Homa U’Migdal strategy had to do with the fact that once those settlements were up, it would have been illegal for the British to remove them, because of a Turkish Ottoman law that was in effect which stated that no illegal building may be demolished if the roof has been completed. Today’s Fayyad strategy is winning because Israel just can’t afford to demolish schools that were paid for by the EU – worst optics ever.

But wait, it gets better. The Regavim report also shows that the density in PA schools (313 students on average per school) is lower than the density in Israeli schools (337 students on average per school) and much lower than the density in schools in Jordan (476.9 students on average in each school). These data indicate that the establishment of illegal schools does not stem from a need, certainly not an urgent need, for new schools.

Illegal PA school on Israeli-controlled Area C land. / Courtesy of Regavim

Also, despite the PA’s attempts to portray the construction of these illegal schools as a “humanitarian solution,” to compensate for the long distance from the students’ homes to the nearest school, Regavim’s data show that all the new schools were established from a few hundred yards to two miles meters from already existing schools.

“Regavim has been warning for a decade of the organized Palestinian takeover of open spaces in Judea and Samaria and the fact that the school construction strategy is a key component of their plan. Schools are always the first swallow that heralds rain of illegal construction in the area,” said Regavim movement CEO Meir Deutsch.


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