Home News Israel In Rapid Operation, PA Builds Illegal Housing Near Kochav Hashahar

In Rapid Operation, PA Builds Illegal Housing Near Kochav Hashahar

In Rapid Operation, PA Builds Illegal Housing Near Kochav Hashahar
Continuing Malachi's Way – A child holding an Israeli flag, stands on the route of the march in memory of Malachi Rosenfeld from Kohav Hashahar, who was murdered three years ago in a terror attack, when returning home from a basketball game. Malakhei HaShalom, Jun 25, 2018. Photo by Hillel Maeir/TPS *** Local Caption *** ??????? ???? ????? – ???? ? ???? ????? ?? ????? ??????? ? ???? ???? ? ???? ? ????? ???? ???? ???? ???? ????? ???? ????? ? ???? ?????? ??? ??? ???? ????? ???? ?????? ?????? ???? ??? ?????
By Aryeh Savir/TPS • 20 January, 2022

Jerusalem, 20 January, 2022 (TPS) — In a night operation initiated by the Palestinian Authority (PA), dozens of Arab activists have recently established illegal permanent structures made of panels and concrete, near the Israeli community of Kochav Hashahar, north of Jerusalem.

The illegal structures were built in Area C, under full Israeli control, as per the Oslo Accords.

The PA outpost consisted until recently of tents and temporary structures, but now the PA has built permanent structures on the site in order to establish a firmer hold on the area.

In photos posted on social media, head of the PA’s Committee for the Struggle Against the Settlements Moaid Shaban and senior PA officials are seen carrying construction materials together with the activists and mixing concrete for the floor.

The construction of the buildings was carried out at night to outmaneuver the inspectors of the IDF’s Civil Administration who are active mainly during the day, thus establishing hard facts on the ground before they commence operations.

Construction has continued in recent days when according to reports from residents of the area, the IDF confiscated a truck carrying construction materials brought to the area, but this did not stop construction which continues uninterrupted.

The location of the outpost was carefully chosen by the PA. The outpost is located at a strategic point that separates the Israeli communities of Gush Shilo and Kochav Hashahar.

This latest PA undertaking is apparently part of the implantation of the Fayyad program, and the PA is investing considerable resources in creating an Arab construction continuum in the Kochav Hashahar and Shiloh areas, which will connect the Ramallah district to Jericho and the Arab villages in the Jordan Valley.

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

In 2009, then-prime minister of the PA Salaam Fayyad laid out the Plan for the Creation of the State of Palestine, a methodical program for seizing control of territory in Area C, under full Israeli control as prescribed by the Oslo Accords, to form a broad and viable basis for a Palestinian state, specifically in the areas under Israeli control.

Fayyad’s plan essentially bypasses all negotiations or compromises with Israel and creates facts on the ground.

The Arab construction operation, which is being conducted almost unhindered, comes against the background of extensive destruction campaigns led by the government against Israeli outposts in the same area.

Israeli resident of Givat Maoz Esther, situated near the Arab outpost under construction, sharply criticized the government, saying that “while in the face of the Arab construction that eats hundreds of dunams of homeland every day – the government turns a blind eye and aligns with the Palestinian Authority, towards the Jewish settlement the government is fighting a war of attrition.”

They emphasized that “there is no room for symmetry between Jewish settlement and Arab takeover. This is our country and we demand from the government a comprehensive change of direction towards settlement and the application of a clear Zionist policy.”

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 this two-year period, reaching a total of 93,071 dunams.

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, 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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