News from Peace Now:
Last Saturday, Our Settlement Watch team exposed
that the Civil Administration's Higher Planning Committee promoted a plan for a new settlement east of Shiloh.
Today, following the
statement issued by the U.S. State Department condemning this development, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign
Affairs issued its own
statement, arguing that the 98 units that were promoted do not consist of a new settlement and do not
expand the Shiloh's municipal boundaries.
These are the facts behind our analysis, which illustrate that this is indeed a new settlement:
1. The driving distance between the new settlement and Shilo is 2km (1km from Shvut Rachel).
2. The Municipal boundary of Shiloh was changed in May 2013 to including this new hill.
3. The fact that an area is included in the municipal boundary of a settlement means nothing about the location of it in or out of the existing settlement. According to our study of the municipal areas of settlements, the built-up area of the settlements takes only 9% of their jurisdiction. In other words, 91% of the municipal boundaries of the settlements is out of the built area of the settlement.
4. According to the protocol of the planning committee which took place last week, the architect who presented the plan said that "in terms of its functioning, the neighborhood could be independent, illustrating that this is a de-facto a new settlement, but the government needs politically to call it a neighborhood for political reasons.
For all of the reasons above, it is clear that the housing units promoted are not an integral part of Shiloh, but rather, a new settlement.
Peace Now's response to the U.S State Department's statement: "two weeks after President Obama approved a $38 billion security assistance package to Israel, Netanyahu chooses to thank him with a slap in face, and to illustrate that his commitment to settlers who stole private lands is more important to him than the true interests of the State of Israel."