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Israeli MKs attack Palestinian building efforts in Area C

Aug. 12, 2015 11:56 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 12, 2015 8:33 P.M.)
Palestinians in Nabi Saleh wave their flag on top of a house demolished by Israeli bulldozers under the pretext that there was no construction permit. (AFP/Abbas Momani/File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- An Israeli Knesset subcommittee on Tuesday said that Palestinian efforts to build in Area C were aimed at creating "facts on the ground" to prevent the expansion of Jewish communities, a Knesset press release said.

MK Mordhay Yogev, who heads an Israeli foreign affairs and defense subcommittee for the occupied West Bank, said that Palestinian building efforts were "aimed at creating facts on the ground and preventing the expansion of Jewish communities such as Ma'ale Adumim."

Yogev said that while "illegal construction exists also in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, it is on a much smaller scale and takes place within existing communities," referring to illegal Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Yogez is a member of the right-wing Jewish Home party, headed by Nafatali Bennett, who has in the past called for Israel to annex Area C.

Area C makes up 61 percent of the occupied West Bank and holds most of its natural resources.

The 1993 Oslo Accord places the area under full military and administrative control by Israel with the intention of eventually being transferred to the Palestinian Authority.

However, the Israeli Civil Administration responsible for the area has largely used its resources to expand and develop illegal Israeli settlements, and has confiscated Palestinian land and demolished structures toward that end.

According to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, Israel has demolished at least 27,000 Palestinian homes and structures since occupying the West Bank in 1967.

"Facts on the ground" is a term regularly used to refer to the presence of more than 500,000 Israeli settlers living across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, who have made the possibility of a two-state solution increasingly difficult.

Last month, the EU Council warned that: "The viability of the two state solution is constantly being eroded by new facts on the ground."

The EU is among many international bodies to have blasted Israeli policy in Area C.

EU representative John Gatt-Rutter said in March that Area C is an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory, comprised of crucial natural resources and land for a viable Palestinian State.

"Without this area, the two state solution -- that we have invested in for years -- will be impossible," he said.
Jose / Mozambique
New rules of engagement were handed down Tuesday, July 11, to the Israeli military, police and Border Guard units serving in Judea and Samaria, effectively prohibiting them from shooting Palestinians found hurling firebombs, carrying out knife attacks or other acts of terror.
12/08/2015 12:24
John Costello / USA
Good news Jose! Now if the IDF would just be given orders to leave all of "Judea and Samaria" to the people who've lived there for millennia, prior to Zionist colonization, we'd have a just peace.
13/08/2015 02:02
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