Photo Credit: Dorit Shechter
Leaders in Judea & Samaria discuss the illegal PA construction in Area C. Nov. 10, 2021

The Judea and Samaria council heads, along with those responsible for land preservation within their respective councils, held an emergency meeting this week in Gush Etzion, in order to discuss safeguarding State Lands within Area C.

The Palestinian Authority is making a concerted effort to take over all the lands in Area C via illegal construction, using the Fayyad plan as their guide.

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In 2009, then-prime minister of the PA Salaam Fayyad laid out the Plan for the Creation of the State of Palestine, a methodical program for seizing control of territory in Area C, under full Israeli control as prescribed by the Oslo Accords, to form a broad and viable basis for a Palestinian state, specifically in the areas under Israeli control.

Fayyad’s plan essentially bypasses all negotiations or compromises with Israel and creates facts on the ground.

According to data collected by Regavim, in 2009 the number of illegal Arab structures in Area C stood at 29,784, while in 2018 the number surged to 58,435.

The far more worrying statistic is the area covered by illegal Arab construction: In 2009, some 44,538 dunams of land in Area C were being occupied illegally by Arab construction. In 2018, over 78,626 dunams have been overtaken.

While serving as Defense Minister in 2019, Naftali Bennett threatened to demolish any illegal Arab construction in Area C, even if it was funded by the EU.

Among the participants were: Yesha Council Chairman, and Head of the Jordan Valley Regional Council, David Elhayani, host of the gathering – Gush Etzion Regional Council Head, Shlomo Ne’eman, Binyamin Regional Council Head, Israel Ganz, Hebron Regional Council Head, Yochai Damari, Samaria Regional Council Head, Yossi Dagan, Beit El Regional Council Head, Shai Alon, Kedumim Regional Council Head, Hananel Durani, and others responsible for land preservation throughout Judea and Samaria.

In a closed session, the council heads discussed the very serious developments in regard to State Lands in Judea and Samaria and released a clear and unequivocal statement:

“This struggle is over whether we continue to exist or to fold. This is an existential battle involving the entire Nation of Israel. We are all committed towards working together in order to stop the hostile takeover of our lands and in order to preserve the future of Jewish life in Judea and Samaria.”

A series of operational decisions were made including the establishment of a joint command center for all of the councils and the commitment to form a unified front vis-à-vis IDF officials, the Civil Administration, and of course vis-à-vis the political establishment in the battle over State Lands.

In response to an inquiry on the issue by TPS, a senior official in the Defense Ministry stated that the “phenomenon of illegal Palestinian construction in Area C is one of the main issues that Defense Minister Bennett is dealing with, and he has already begun to work to eradicate the phenomenon.”

Content from TPS was used in this report.

 

 

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