Israel Allows Jewish People to Volunteer at Illegal West Bank Outposts

By: Madeeha Al-A’raj

The National Bureau for defending land and resisting settlements ( nbprs ) stated in its latest weekly report , that in an unprecedented development, the Occupation Authorities allow Jewish Israeli citizens to perform the so-called national service in the settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank, including farms and outposts, which demolition and eviction orders have been issued, where 8 of them are currently allowed to perform “national service” at the outposts in the West Bank, as they have received funding from the Israeli Government, it is estimated that 40% of their budgets were obtained from public funds in 8 different settlement outposts and farms in the West Bank. Among the settlement farms where “national service” can be performed, are Nahal Shilo, Jebel Bani Kedem, Har Kanuf, Tsan Kedar, Keshwala and Ahavat Olam, all of which were to be evicted or demolished, in addition to the Nof Avi and Haifat farms.
Knowing that farms are the most common and widespread type of settlement outposts in the West Bank, and according to estimates by the Peace Now Movement, there are currently about 50 settlement farms in the West Bank, which are expanding at the expense of lands owned by the Palestinian residents. The settlers who settle in farms and outposts are usually members of the same family, who adopt shepherding in the private Palestinian lands to seize them, and to promote pastoral settlement under the pretext of being “state lands”. According to the statistics of Israeli organizations, including B’Tselem and Kerem Nevut, during the past 5 years, 4 farms in the West Bank took control of Palestinian lands in the West Bank with an area of about 20,866 dunams, and turned them into settlement outposts with the support of successive Israeli governments.
For its part, the Jerusalem Planning and Construction Committee, headed by Acting President, Shira Babai, held a discussion about a plan to build a tower in Jerusalem and an Iconic Hotel in the Epstein complex on the light rail axis on the lands of the evacuated village of Ein Karem in 1948. According to the plan, the tower will consist of 40 floors, designed by a company Global Architects, one of the world’s leading firms, also designed Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The plan is located on a total area of about 7 dunums at the northern end of the Kiryat Yuval Neighborhood, next to the light rail station on the so-called Mount Herzl and a car park, and the tower and complex is uniquely located on the hills extending over the mountains of West Jerusalem. The plan includes building 240 housing units in a 40-storey tower, of which 48 housing units are for small apartments. The plan also includes building a hotel with an area of about 9,000m2, and a public building for culture with an area of about 5,000m2.

In the ongoing deliberations on the fate of the Bedouin village in Khan-Ahmar, the Israeli Supreme Court granted the so-called “representative of the state \ government” 120 days to explain the reasons for not fulfilling its commitment 3 years ago to evict the village. This came after a petition was submitted by the far-right “Regavim” Movement, which insists on evacuating the Bedouin village in occupied East Jerusalem. The “state representative” had asked the court days ago to postpone the decision on the petition calling for the implementation of the evacuation, for another 30 days, which is seventh request that has been provided by successive Israeli governments for 3 years..

In Bethlehem, settlers established a new random settlement outpost in the lands of Battir village, while the occupation forces have prevented owners of lands adjacent to the outpost from accessing their lands since it was established last week. The occupation claims that the settlement outpost is built on “state land”, but Battir residents assert that the lands are privately owned by Palestinians, and they went to the “Civil Administration” of the Israeli occupation army, demanding to expel the settlers and open an investigation against them. A member of Battir’s local council, Moh’d Obeid Allah, stated that the settlers placed a truck on the land they seized, which they use for accommodation, a caravan. He added that this is the fourth time that settlers have tried to establish a settlement outpost in the place, adding a notice was placed in it that includes stopping its reclamation, knowing that the area is about 700 dunams.and in the previous time they made a road to the outpost, and expanded it, last week.

List of Israeli Assaults over the Last Week Documented by the National Bureau:

Jerusalem:

  • Storming the Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood in Jerusalem, provoking the residents and activists there. It is reported that the extremist Ben Gvir has been there for more than 2 months, under the pretext of establishing an office to protect settlers.
  • Provocative tours around Al-Aqsa Mosque coinciding with the so-called Purim festival or Hebrew Purim. Pictures published by Jerusalem activists showed settlers wearing the clothes of the “Eid al-Baysah” or what is known as “Easter Eid”, which coincides with the middle of the month of Ramadan, in reference to the plans of the “temple” groups of incursions and implementation of the agenda of the “moral establishment of the temple” during the month of Ramadan.

Hebron:

  • Erecting 3 caravans in the Birin area, east of Yatta, near the monument they erected three years ago in the area, to establish a new settlement outpost.
  • Firing live bullets at shepherds and their sheep in the village of Janba, south of Hebron.
  • Confiscating quantities of vegetables and fruits offered for sale in stalls set up by citizens, along Highway 90, which connects the north and south of the Jordan Valley.
  • Dangers of demolishing and stopping work in a mixed elementary school and 8 housing units in the village of Shaab al-Butm.

Bethlehem:

  • Bulldozing agricultural land to build a settlement road in Husan village in an estimated area of 45 dunums.
  • Attacking 3 women from Kisan village, east of Bethlehem, and sprayed them with pepper gas, Nayfa, Fatima and Samaher Abayat, while they were picking ‘Akoub’ from village lands.
  • Firing live bullets against the Al-Khansa and Al-Jarmaq Girls’ Primary schools in the town of Taqou’, east of Bethlehem, while the female students were in their classes, which sparked a state of panic, and the school’s administration had evacuated it.

Salfeet:

  • Uprooting more than 200 olive plantations in the Khallet Hassan area, west of Bidya town, with a land area of 56 dunums.
  • Cracking and chopping of more than 60 perennial olive trees, in Kafr ad-Dik, planted more than 100 years ago, in the Smoukh area north of the town
  • Handing over 2 notices to stop work and construction of 2 agricultural rooms in the “Susiya” area, north of the town of Kafr Ad-Dik.

Jordan Valley:

  • Seizing a tractor in the Al-Burj area in the northern Jordan Valley.
  • Notifications of demolition of 7 houses in the village of Al-Diouk Al-Tahta, on the grounds that it is located on “Israeli” lands, knowing that the population of the village is about 1,300, the majority of whom depend on growing vegetables.

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