Israel Preparing Major Expansions in Four West Bank Settlements

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Kedumim, one of dozens of West Bank settlements that had a large part of its debts erased.
Kedumim, one of dozens of West Bank settlements that had a large part of its debts erased. Credit: Tali Mayer

On the instructions of the Netanyahu government, the Civil Administration last year prepared major expansions of the settlements of Kedumim, Vered Yericho, Neveh Tzuf and Emanuel.

Some 3,740 dunams in the areas of the settlements were marked as state lands. More than 99 percent of state lands are allocated to settlements.

Preparations for submitting construction plans were carried out on 18 projects encompassing 12,840 dunams. This marked a significant decline from 2013 when preparations were made on 26,548 dunams. An examination of the work done in these areas demonstrates the government’s intentions to expand settlements.

Last year preparations for submission of construction plans were done in Kiryat Arba, Ateret, the Ma’aleh Rehavam outpost, Nokdim, Adora and Bat Ayin West.

There has also been a change in settlements’ areas of jurisdiction. Last year they increased by 1,162 dunams. Psagot received 155 dunams, Elkana 904 dunams, and Mevo Horon 600 dunams. On the other hand, the settlements Tzufim, Kfar Oranim and Halamish became smaller.

Last December Haaretz reported that the state had marked 35,000 dunams in firing zones near the settlements as state lands. Although the government claims that the firing zones are used for army training exercises, in fact they have started to prepare them for transfer to the settlements.

Researcher Dror Etkes, who heads the Peace Now settlement tracking project, analyzed the data and told Haaretz that “these data prove that the Netanyahu government continued in 2014 to energetically promote the End of Days vision of an apartheid state, where settlements are built simultaneously all over the West Bank, and millions of Palestinians live as second-class citizens in the enclaves between them.”

Nir Hasson adds: An incendiary device was thrown on Sunday at the Jewish complex of Shimon Hatzadik’s tomb in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. The bottle broke on the steps of the complex, causing no damage or injuries. Earlier an incendiary device was thrown at the Jewish settlement of Ma’aleh Zeitim in the Ras al-Amud neighborhood. There were no injuries, and slight damage was done to a balcony.

During the afternoon a stone was thrown at a bus traveling on Sultan Suleiman Street in East Jerusalem, damaging the windshield and slightly injuring one passenger, who did not need medical attention.

Also Sunday, six cars belonging to Palestinians living in Silwan and nearby Abu Tor were burned. However, according to police it not appear the work of Jewish radicals.

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