Wild Settlements

The murders of toddler Ali Dawabsha and his father Saed generated an uproar. The fire set to the house in the Palestinian village of Duma with its dwellers inside, led to the death of two and the mortal injury of two others. However, this horrid act was not committed in a void. Since 1999, when the illegal outposts began appearing in the nearby “Shiloh Valley,” the region has undergone a process of increased Israeli control and Palestinian ousting.

This objective is often achieved through violence as a political tool for altering the status quo in favor of the settlers. This process is made possible, inter alia, by the fact that the region is a lawless area. Throughout the years, wild outposts’ settlers have enjoyed ongoing support from the authorities, whether by act or omission: a local authority allocating financial support, government offices build and provide infrastructure, enforcement agencies avoid enforcing the planning and construction laws, security forces do not only protect illegal outpost settlers but also help them remove Palestinians from the farmlands, even when it is their personal land. Changes in this area in the years after the wild outposts were established demonstrate that the settlers’ presence in the area leads to ongoing thievery and acts of violence.


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Peace Now - Settlement Watch News Flash: Advancement of 1065 Housing Units in the Settlements

The sub-committee for settlements of the higher planning committee of the military’s Civil Administration met yesterday to discuss 15 plans, at various planning stages and in different settlements. In total, the committee discussed plans that regard 1,065 housing units. Of these housing units, the plan approved 541 new housing units, retroactively legalized 228 existing housing units, and approved the development of infrastructure for a plan that consists of 296 housing units, while further approval will be needed before construction of the housing units can begin.

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Peace Now News Flash: The Ramat Shlomo Plan is to get the Final Green Light

Shalom Achshav, APN's sister organization in Israel, reported:
The Jerusalem District committee for Construction and Planning will convene on Wednesday, 6/5/15, to approve Plan no. 11085 for the construction of 1,531 housing units in Ramat Shlomo. The plan was called "The Biden Plan" when during the visit of Vice President Biden in Jerusalem, on March 2010, the plan was approved for depositing by the planning committee
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It is safe to say that in the past two years construction starts for approximately 5,000 housing units took place in the settlements. This huge jump in construction starts took place, according to the CBS, mainly in the beginning of 2013, whereas in Peace Now’s data it was reflected only in 2014.

On March 10, 2015 the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (ICBS or CBS) published the number of construction starts for 2014. According to the CBS, 1,344 new housing units started to be built in the settlements in 2014 and 2,829 units in 2013. Peace Now, who conducted a count of all construction starts based on aerial photos, reported a higher figure for 2014 (3,100 housing units) and lower one for 2013 (2,243 housing units). So how much was actually built?

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Peace Now Releases Settlement Construction Report

Peace Now's annual construction report reveals substantial increase in construction starts, planning and tenders – specifically in isolated settlements and in the most disputed areas in terms of the chance for two states. To download the full report click here.
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Yesterday, the Israeli police arrested three suspects for using forged documents to purchase lands from Palestinians in the West Bank. The police investigation began following a complaint by Peace Now and Palestinian land owners during the High Court petition against the illegal outpost of Migron,after the settlers had provided forged documents to the court. This complaint, together with other cases in which settlers used forged documents to purchase lands in illegal outposts, resulted in a police investigation, leading to yesterday's arrests.

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Peace Now: The Settlement in A-Nahla is Being Promoted

Recent developments demonstrate that the Netanyahu government continues to promote the settlement known as “E2” at A-Nahla (Givat Eitam):
1. The Ministry of Housing has begun to plan the area for the settlement.
2. A new court decision regarding the status of the land is construed as partial approval of the land as state land.
3. Israeli authorities have destroyed a Palestinian wheat field in the area designated for the settlement.

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Shalom Achshav Press Release: Israeli High Court Verdict on Peace Now's Six Outposts Petition

illegal outposts320x265On December 7, 2014 the High Court ruled on Peace Now’s petition number 7891/07 which demanded to carry out Central Command’s delimitation orders and evacuate six West Bank outposts. High Court President, Asher Grunis, ruled that the state must evacuate structures in the outposts located on private Palestinian land, but that there is no place for the court to intervene in the state's prioritization of delimitation orders enforcement and did not oblige the state to evacuate structures located on state lands or survey lands, in light of the state's intention to legalize them.

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Settlement Watch News Flash: Settlers take over 2 Additional Buildings at Silwan

The Israeli Peace Now movement today published the following News Flash:,/p>

Settlers take over 2 Additional Buildings at Silwan

Yesterday, 20/10/2014, settlers entered early in the morning to 2 buildings at the Palestinian Silwan neighborhood at East Jerusalem, in the area called Battan Al Hawa. The buildings consist together of an estimated 9 housing units and families have been seen at the sites.

The two new settlements extend the settlers area of control at Silwan. They allow the settlers to have a new stronghold in an area that does not have other settlements in their immediate surroundings. The locations of the buildings are at Battan Al Hawa, in an area that is referred to as the Yemenite neighborhood (Harat Al-Yaman) or Al-Hara Al-Wusta. Unlike Wadi Hilweh  where settlers took over 7 buildings three weeks ago, Battan Al Hawa is an area in Silwan which is very crowdedly populated by Palestinians. The only settlement there, until yesterday, was of about 8 families, in "Beit Yonatan" and "Beit Hadvash", where the settlers can't safely walk in the street and can only reach their homes by an armored car and with armed guards.
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Sacrificing Israel’s Friendships – and Future— at the Altar of Elad

Last week, the Israeli online magazine +972 reported that Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin, the former head of military intelligence and the current director of the Institute for National Security Studies, and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, signed onto an ad congratulating settlers for taking over some 7 buildings (with more than 20 apartments) in East Jerusalem, in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan, which the settlers call the City of David/Ir David.  The ad read:

On the eve of Sukkot, we are happy to congratulate the dozens of new families that are joining the Jewish settlement of Ir David these days.  We salute the Zionist work of those who take part in this mission. Strengthening Jewish presence in Jerusalem is the challenge for all of us, and by your act of settlement you make us all stand taller. Together, we will welcome the pilgrims who are visiting on the holiday. We appreciate and endear you.

Yadlin and his co-signers are, in effect, endorsing the sacrifice of Israel’s future at the altar of Elad.  This is the right-wing organization that for decades has been the engine behind settlement in Silwan—an enterprise that has historically been and continues to be especially problematic politically, morally, and legally.  While recently Elad has endeavored to transform itself into a “mainstream” organization associated with cultural and touristic activities, its raison d’etre has not changed: to create facts on the ground that prevent a two-state solution and to establish an exclusionary, Jewish/Israeli hegemony in the heart of Palestinian East Jerusalem.

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