Last week, a Canadian Army General, together with a delegation of Canadian military personnel, visited an illegal structure built on state land belonging to the religious Jewish community of Maon in the southern Hebron hills, where he met with PA Arabs from the area, according to a report issued Thursday morning by the Regavim movement.
The Canadian delegation was also hosted by the Central Command Chief, General Yehuda Fox, meaning that its presence in the area is known to and sanctioned by IDF officials.
The building where the Canadian delegation met its PA counterpart had been erected in a few hours the night before, in Area C, which is under full Israeli civilian and security control according to the Oslo Agreements. The land where the meeting took place is a state land designated for agriculture and belonging to the nearby settlement of Maon. The site has recently become the center of friction between the Jewish residents who own the land and leftist anarchists and PA agents who are trying to take it over.
Even as the overnight construction was taking place, the Jewish residents alerted the army and the Civil Administration and demanded that they stop the work and demolish the building, as it is a blatant violation of the Oslo accords. According to the residents, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories has pledged to enforce the law in the area but so far this has not been done.
Shortly after the complaint to the Civil Administration, the Jewish residents documented the visit of the Canadian delegation, which included two uniformed military personnel. The same delegation was also documented during a visit to the Arab village of Surif, located 15 miles northwest of the city of Hebron near the settlement of Karmei Zur in Gush Etzion, and this week was discovered again holding a meeting with PA Arabs near the village of Kisan in eastern Gush Etzion, also in Area C.
To reiterate: Area C in Judea and Samaria is under Israeli security and civilian control, as was recognized on September 28, 1995, with the signing of the Oslo II Agreement. The area includes more than 100 Jewish settlements and dozens of outposts, with an estimated population of more than 400,000, as well as the roads leading to the settlements, Arab villages, IDF bases and fire zones, and uninhabited areas. The Coordinator of Government Operations in the Territories in 2012 estimated the number of Arabs living in Area C at 90,000, noting that it was about 3% of the Arab residents of Judea and Samaria. UN figures are much higher, but those include eastern Jerusalem and Arab villages that are mostly in Areas A and B but extend into Area C.
It is safe to assume that through the PA’s illegal efforts in the last ten years, the number of Arabs in the Israeli-governed Area C has increased significantly.
“Imagine if IDF Chief of Staff Kochavi were to walk around the Canadian border wearing a uniform with ranks on his shoulder and reinforcing criminal border smugglers,” said Regavim’s CEO Meir Deutsch, adding, “Is Canada planning to start a war with Israel?”
Deutsch said that the presence of a senior military official from a foreign country encouraging criminals who have invaded state lands under the auspices of the PA is utterly insane and a blatant and rude violation of the sovereignty of the State of Israel.
“We call today on the foreign ministry to summon the Canadian Ambassador for a reprimand and demand that it be made clear that such an intervention is a fatal blow to international relations. Such gross interference is insane,” Deutsch said.
I contacted the Canadian embassy in Tel Aviv for their response and was asked to send my inquiry by email (très 1992). Will update our readers as soon as I receive it (and the pony express horses are given ample water and hay).