“ Genesis “ and “ City Center” are at the Forefront of Isr. Settlement Projects
By Madeeha Al-Araj
Islam News – The National Bureau for defending land and resisting settlements ( nbprs ) stated in its latest weekly report , that on the main road between the occupied Jerusalem and Jericho cities, the Israeli occupation places banners to promote a settlement project called “Genesis” which is one of the “Five Books of Moses in the Bible.” in the Bedouinare that extends from the easters side of the city till the hills that overlook the Jericho city and the Dead Sea, a few meters away from the Abu Dahuk Bedouin Community, which is threatened with eviction, along with about a scores of other Bedouin communities in Khan al-Ahmar, where a sign that reads “Camping in the Israeli desert” is also seen.
The project organizers have set up white tents woven in the traditional way. They prepared the ancient Bedouin, and prepared Arabic coffee to receive tourists who visit the area, make saj bread for them, and take them on camel tours. These extremists wear the dress of priests as they stand at the entrances to the streets to explain the nature of the area and tell the Talmudic narrations to the Jewish visitors, and try to impose its biblical elements on the place.
At the same time, the issue of the “City Center”, an urban planning project approved by the “Israeli District Committee” to impose more restrictions on the settlement construction expansion in Bab Al-Sahira, Wadi Al-Joz, and Al-Masodiya Neighborhood in the occupied Jerusalem. The project extends over an area of about 700 dunums, which includes private property and endowment properties, which was established by the occupation authorities, despite its negative impact on the Jerusalemites, and its failure to take into account the housing needs of population growth, as it doesn’t provide sufficient additions to Palestinian housing.
The objection of the Jerusalem Human Rights Association to the “City Center” project, the institutions received a decision from the Israeli High Court to freeze the so-called “City Center” project until another decision is issued. Knowing that the Judaization project aims to control East Jerusalem, and of its conditions is, the expropriation and control of the lands on which public or semi-public institutions were built in East Jerusalem, in addition to the fact that Jerusalemites are not allowed to make any change, demolition or addition to the buildings prepared by the occupation municipality.
Also, the project does not allow construction in the eastern part of Jerusalem for more than four floors, while the occupation municipality can give building permits for more than ten floors in the western part, which leads to depriving Jerusalemites of vertical construction. The Israeli Central Committee for Planning and Building presented a project. City Center” at the end of last year; But it was postponed after a series of objections from the Palestinians. However, the committee reintroduced it in July 2021, and set a deadline for objecting to the project until the end of the month.
In a remarkable development that reveals the size of the deals that the occupation government concludes with settlement associations to rob Palestinian lands, the Ministry of Agriculture in Israel handed over 8,500 dunams to settlers to establish 6 random settlement outposts in different areas in the occupied West Bank, claiming that they were used for agricultural and livestock grazing, and at the same time it financed three settlement associations named: “Hashomer Yosh”, “Kidma” and a preparatory college for military service ‘Beit Yatir’ to enable them to continue their settlement activities at the expense of the rights of the Palestinians in their land. In its response to the Israeli Peace Now Movement’s address in this regard, i.e. funding of settlement associations that are active in guarding and volunteering in informal settlement outposts, the ministry issued permits allowing settlers to use lands and construct buildings without building permits.
The ministry’s response stated that it funded these settlement associations with an amount of nis 3.8 million last year, and NIS 3.6 million in 2019, in return for their activity in these outposts. There are currently dozens of settlement outposts in the West Bank that are used to graze livestock. The settlement association ‘Amanah’ has established at least 30 such outposts in recent years, and these outposts occupy large areas under the pretext of using them for grazing, by converting them into outposts and later into neighborhoods in existing settlements.
On the other hand, settler leaders called on Israeli PM Naftali Bennett to hold a meeting of the Planning and Construction Committee of the Civil Administration, to approve plans for settlement construction that have been stuck since the Netanyahu Government. David Elhayani, head of the Yesha settlement council, claims that he and his friends, the heads of local authorities, represent half a million residents of Judea and Samaria in the West Bank settlements and the Jordan Valley. Knowing that the last meeting of the committee was held last January, and the settlers now fear a freeze on construction in the settlements due to understandings with the new US Administration.
List of Israeli Assaults over the Last Week Documented by the National Bureau:
- Forcing a Jerusalemite to demolish his own house in the Al-Sala’a neighborhood in Jabal Al-Mukabber or paying high fines.
- Forcing the Dajani family to demolish 3 houses in the Khallet Al-Ain in Al-Tur in Jerusalem, otherwise, they will pay tens of thousands of NIS.
- Forcing the Abu Al-Hawa family to demolish their own house in the town of Al-Tur, east of the city, under the pretext of not having a building permit, at a time when the Israeli settlers seized a house in the Wadi Hilweh witth the aim of Judaizing the occupied city of Jerusalem, especially the areas surrounding the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
- Demolishing of shops and car parks near Qalandia checkpoint, north of the city.
- Bulldozing works in the Abu Shahid roundabout area, near the town of Al-Ram, with the aim of seizing the imperial Hotel in Hebron , as the Israeli settlers succeeded in obtaining a court decision to carry out a comprehensive construction survey of the hotel to seize its properties, and demanding the payment of ten million of NIS in exchange for using the hotel from 2009 – 2019 in addition to demanding the evacuation of the hotel for the benefit of the settlers.
- Reconstructing a settlement outpost in the village of Birin, south of Hebron, with the aim of connecting the settlements established on lands south of Hebron under the Israeli protection and the Civil Administration.
- Assaulting the staff of the Land Settlement Authority while working in Um al-Shaqhan area to the east of Yatta, south of Hebron and confiscating their global positioning system (GPS) device as well as throwing stones at them.
- Attacking the journalists near the settlement of “Ramat Yishai” in the Tel Rumeida area and preventing them from continuing their work.
- The injury of a Palestinian with bruises in the head as a result of the Israeli attack in the village of Al-Tawana in Masafer Yatta, south of Hebron.
- Notifying of demolishing a well for collecting water in the Al-Fakhit community, east of Yatta and an agricultural room made of tin.
- Stealing of equipment and cables designated for a project to rehabilitate an electricity network in the Khirbet Al-Simiya, south of Hebron, and preventing the municipality staff from continuing.
- Attacking a house under construction, at the entrance to the village of Qaryut, south of Nablus, and preventing its owner from building its roof.
- Storming the shrine of Joseph’s tomb, under the pretext of performing Talmudic prayers.
- Storming the archaeological area in the town of Sebastia, amid strict Israeli protection.
- Cutting about 6 poles of the telephone line connecting to the house of Ayman Atallah Soufan, located on the outskirts of Burin town, south of Nablus.
The Jordan Valley:
- Storming the Um Al-Jamal area in the Jordan Valley, and noticing several families to stop work in their facilities.
- Fencing around the Ein Al-Hilweh spring in the northern Jordan Valley and preventing the shepherds from reaching the area and watering their livestock.
- Building Israeli constructions in the vicinity of Ein Al-Hilweh Spring in the northern Jordan Valley, in an attempt to seize 3000 dunums of lands in the Ein Al-Hilweh area, and displace its residents, despite having official documents proving their ownership of agricultural lands in the area.