Peace Now Settlement Watch News Flash: Settlement-Related Updates Amidst Violence and Tensions

Following the increase in violence attacks and tensions between Israelis and Palestinians we wish to highlight two settlement-related updates with significant short and long term consequences on the reality on the ground:
 
1. Netanyahu announces intention to build bypass roads in the West Bank (our estimates and a case study of the Lieberman Road showcasing the impact of bypass roads on settlement development)

2.  Pending violent eviction of a Palestinian family in Silwan


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1. Netayahu's Plans for Bypass Roads in the West Bank – Meaning and Implications
As a response to the recent wave of violence, Prime Minister Netanyahu announced his intention, among other things, to pave new bypass roads for settlers in the West Bank. Below is detailed information on our estimate regarding these plans.
 
Those concerned about settlement expansion must be alerted by Netanyahu's intention to construct bypass roads in the West Bank. Beyond the immediate land confiscation, these roads have the potential of turning isolated settlement to "suburbs" of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and as a result grow significantly in population size. For more information on how bypass roads impact settlement development see a new Settlement Watch report on infrastructure development, highlighting the case study of the Lieberman Road which bypasses Bethlehem from the East.
 
The planned roads:
Settlement Watch estimates that the bypass roads PM Netanyahu refers to are those already agreed upon between himself and the settlers in October 2014, which were halted at the time by the former Minister of Finance. The plans include approximately 25 kilometers of roads bypassing Palestinian villages, taking approximately 4,500 dunams (1,115 acres), most of which will be confiscated from Palestinians. The plans, which are in fact already approved and can be implemented as soon as the Government decides to, include the following (see map):
 
  • Hawara Bypass Rd – between Tapuah Junction (AKA Za'atra Junction) and Yizhar Junction, bypassing Hawara from the east, on lands of Hawara and Beita - 5.7 km, 1,191 dunams
  • Elarub Bypass Rd. – Between Gush Etzion Junction and Carmei Zur settlement, on lands of Beit Umar and Halhul – 6.5 km, 1223 dunams [On July 12th, 2015, it was published that in a meeting of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Transport, Minister of Finance and the Defense Minister, it was decided to allocate tens of Millions of NIS for the construction of Hawara and Elarub Bypass roads.]
  • Nebi Eliyas Bypass Rd. – Near Qalqilya – on the lands of Azzun - 2.5 km, 670 dunams [on January 2015, it was published on the website of the National Transport Infrastructure Company that the project of planning and construction of the Nebi Eliyas bypass Rd. is in preparations, and that 42 Million NIS were allocated for it. Previously we saw that the company hired planners to prepare the construction of the road.]
  • From Shilo to Rd. No. 80 – on lands of Jalud and Turmus Aya - 10 km, 1,333 dunams
  • Completion of Rd No. 596 – on lands of Ya'bad – unknown km and dunams.
  • Interchanges (see map) - construction of an interchange at the "sheep junction" south of Hebron and another one east of Halhul.
  • Security and access roads to settlements – in Eli, Ariel, Alei Zahav, Bruchin, Karnei Shomron, Imanuel and others, as well as upgrading of several roads.
  • Another interchange is currently under construction in Jaba (Adam) junction, meant to ease the traffic from north to south, for the settlers from Jerusalem to the northern settlements (such as: Ofra, Beit El, Kochav Yaacov and others). Most of the Palestinian traffic, which turns to the Qalandya checkpoint to go to Ramallah, will continue to drive through the roundabout. 
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The Jaba (Adam) interchange currently under construction
 
2. Eviction of a Palestinian Family in Silwan Threatens to Further Escalate the Situation in Jerusalem
 
The Abu Nab family in Silwan received an eviction order from the Israeli Execution Office to be implemented between October 11th and October 25th 2015. According to the order, the settlers can request police assistance in evicting the Abu Nab family in the next two weeks.
 
In the current atmosphere footage of a Palestinian family being dragged out of its home by police officers will definitely not contribute to de-escalation, to say the least. The government has the power to prevent further escalation as it can prevent the eviction if it decides not to send police assistance to the settlers.
 
The Abu Nab family is one of dozens of families currently under risk of eviction in Batan Al-Hawa in Silwan as a part of a Hebronization effort in East Jerusalem, attempting to prevent the possibility of two states. Click on the links for the full story about the Abu Nab house and the Settlement in Batan Al-Hawa in Silwan, and for a report on this issue in The Independent.
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