European Lawmakers Fight EU’s Funding of PA’s Illegal Takeover of Area C

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Yossi Dagan (r.) with MP Koen Metsu (File).

Area C is under full Israeli control, but has been subjected to massive illegal Palestinian construction, financed by the European Union.

European Members of Parliaments from the Netherlands and Belgium have announced they will battle the European Union’s (EU) massive financing of the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) illegal takeover of Area C in Judea and Samaria.

Area C is under full Israeli control as per the Oslo Accords, but has been subjected to
a Palestinian campaign
to gain control of the area,
a campaign financed by the EU,
and  – INCREDIBLY – almost uncontested
by the Israeli government.

Samaria Council Chairman Yossi Dagan met with MEP Koen Metsu of Belgium and Dutch MEP Gidi Markuszower and agreed to establish the Judea and Samaria lobby and fight the EU’s financing of the PA’s campaign in area C.

Dagan presented them with data showing the EU’s funding of a half-billion dollars of the PA’s illegal construction in Area C, as well as funding for the “Settler Violence” incitement campaign against Israelis living in Judea and Samaria.

The MEPs were shocked by the data presented to them and promised to act on the issue.

Markuszower said after the meeting with Dagan that the EU “funds terrorist organizations that steal territories and build illegal structures in Area C. This must stop, as this is the illegal theft of territories belonging to Israel. The Palestinian Authority is stealing territories, and this situation must stop. This illegal act is detrimental to peace.”

“We talked about the EU, which includes the Netherlands, which unfortunately funds terrorist organizations and Palestinians who actually kill peace. We want to promote peace, to invest more in positive actions, as Yossi Dagan does in Samaria. We hope we can influence the EU to change its investments, and create real peace, not terrorism against Israeli citizens,” he underscored.

Metsu expressed concern over the situation Dagan presented and said that “Palestinian houses being built without permits, I think it is just shooting ourselves in the foot.”

“More than that, and I speak from experience, here in Belgium we have suffered terrorist attacks in 2016. The wounded are still physically, and psychologically damaged, we should cooperate against radicalism and terrorism, and who knows if one day we will all be able to live in peace and harmony,” he said.

The MEPs agreed to join forces with Dagan to stop European funding for such anti-Israel purposes.

Dagan explained that “when I take out the latest maps and show them why their tax money is used in the name of ‘peace,’ there is no moral person and certainly no Member of Parliament who is not shocked by this.”

“The huge funding of the European Union for the criminal takeover of Area C by the Palestinian Authority and for the campaign of defamation against the settlers in Judea and Samaria must stop,” he demanded.

Battle ‘On Every House and Every Dunam’

A comprehensive report by the Ministry of Intelligence on the PA’s plan to take over Area C which was presented to the Knesset in January shows that the EU has invested half a billion dollars in support of the PA’s illegal takeover of Area C in Judea and Samaria,

According to the report, the PA employs about 600 workers in some 100 registration branches who are engaged in a huge project to map properties, including in Area C. The stated goal of the project is gaining and claiming ownership of the land.

The mapping project, which gained momentum in 2019 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2022, is sometimes carried out with threats to landowners and includes IDF camps and training zones, and Israeli communities.

According to the Israeli report, “in the absence of an alternative (Israeli) registration arrangement, there is a good chance that at one point or another, the courts in Israel or around the world will adopt the Palestinian registration.”

The report further revealed that the PA planning project is being carried out with the funding of foreign bodies, and PA officials attend all meetings and ensure plans are in line with the PA’s “national interests.”

The method is aimed at creating an overload at the IDF’s Civil Administration, to prevent its ability to deal with a wave of referrals and requests, and to take advantage of the Civil Administration’s directive to stop enforcement proceedings wherever a plan for the property in question has been filed.

The report highlights the legal battle that the PA is waging “on every house and every dunam,” amounting to 475 petitions submitted to Israel’s High Court of Justice in just two years.

The policy is to flood the system with petitions in a number that does not enable substantive legal procedures, and produces compromises between the parties, according to which the petitions are withdrawn in exchange for an Israeli commitment not to demolish the PA-built and European-financed illegal buildings.

This is a method that aims to nullify the ability to act against the takeover, the report underscores.

Rapidly Losing Lands

The Regavim Movement, which combats illegal takeover of state lands, recently revealed new mapping data on the frightening scope of the phenomenon, including the extent of illegal Arab construction in the area.

Between the years 2019-2021, the Arabs built 5,097 new illegal structures, in areas under the full control of the State of Israel. This means that every day, about seven new illegal buildings are added to the area.

The total number of
illegal Arab buildings
in Area C is 72,274.

At the same time, a PA-guided agricultural takeover of 7,125 dunams of land under Israeli control was recorded during these two years, reaching a total of 93,071 dunams.

Israel has rapidly been losing lands in area C to European Union-funded illegal construction projected executed by the PA.

While serving as Defense Minister in 2019, Naftali Bennett threatened to demolish any illegal Arab construction in Area C, even if it was funded by the EU.

In response to an inquiry on the issue by TPS at the time, a senior official in the Defense Ministry stated that the “phenomenon of illegal Palestinian construction in Area C is one of the main issues that Defense Minister Bennett is dealing with, and he has already begun to work to eradicate the phenomenon.”

At his meeting with EU ambassadors in December 2019, Bennet told the ambassadors that “illegal construction in their financing would be destroyed by Israel” and made it clear that “his position on the issue was unequivocal.”

However, he has failed to act on his pledges.

 

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