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Israel continues Judaizing Jerusalem and Hebron, provides grants for settlement outpost

March 13, 2018 at 3:14 pm

Construction work on Israeli settlements [Mahfouz Abu Turk/Apaimages]

In its latest report, the Palestine Liberation Organization’s National Bureau for the Defense of Land and Resisting Settlements has covered plans by the Israeli government to continue its Judaization policy in Jerusalem and Hebron, including grants for settlement outposts.

This silent ethnic cleansing policy also incorporates the approval of an amendment to the so-called “Entry into Israel” law, which allows the Israeli Interior Minister to withdraw or revoke the status of a “permanent resident” due to perceived lack of loyalty. According to the report, the decision by US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel has given Israeli policy makers free rein to specifically target Palestinian Jerusalemites and West Bank citizens. Recently uncovered settlement plans by Israeli NGO Peace Now have have coordinated the expulsion of Jerusalemites and demolition of Palestinian homes to be replaced by settlement housing units.

Similar violations of Palestinian rights to their land have occurred under the cooperation between the Israeli occupation authorities’ Ministry of Justice and settlement organisations, which has seen the displacement of Palestinian families in order to resettle Jews in Arab neighbourhoods.  Hananel Gurfinkel was appointed as “Public Trustee” for the “East Jerusalem File” and also set up an association working to prevent what he called “foreign entities from controlling state property in East Jerusalem.” He is also responsible for a series of evictions of Palestinian families and handing over their homes to right-wing settlement groups. Although the majority of properties abandoned in 1948 belonged to Palestinian Arabs, Palestinians have been denied ownership to their property while Israeli law allows Jews to possess the property.

UN: Israel settlements in West Bank, Jerusalem ‘war crime’

The policy of Judaization and silent ethnic cleansing is not limited to Jerusalem, but also extends to Hebron. The establishment of 4 new caravans in the Bouira area was authorized near the so-called “Kharsina” settlement, built on the land belonging to Palestinian citizens. Similarly, a new report issued by UN OCHA, showed that the area known as H2, once known to be bustling and prosperous, has now been transformed into a “ghost town,” amidst fears of the displacement of its 40,000 people in favor of a few hundreds of settlers. The report also tackles the amount of humanitarian and material damages suffered by the Palestinians. The report stresses that the policies and practices carried out by the occupation authorities under a “security pretext” have affected the lives of Palestinians, to the extent where they are harassed by settlers and scrutinized at military checkpoints. In a campaign called “embrace the bear”, the occupation army recently began to collect information from Palestinians throughout the West Bank’s checkpoints via security forms, to find out where they work, where they live and other details, as well as a picture of their personal identity.

Settler assaults have also had a severe impact on Palestinian livelihoods with agricultural land bulldozed in multiple cities. Hebron saw large areas of its land in Yatta, yielding winter crops, bulldozed, as did the Al-Farseiah area in the northern Jordan Valley. In Qalqilia farmers have been prevented by Israeli soldiers from entering their agricultural farmland behind the Apartheid Wall west of the town to work and plough, whilst in Jenin people of the Al-Mukhal area were prevented from reaching their homes and farms.

New UN report documents humanitarian impact of Israeli settlements in Hebron