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The «Legislation» of Depredation
By: Mohammad Al-Sahli
February 8, 2017

The occupation deals with the Palestinian West Bank as an «ownerless land» and that the Palestinians are just residents in it

The Israeli occupation has passed successive stages in the context of deploying the settlements in the West Bank.

It started doing that by infiltrating into the neighborhoods of Jerusalem and several areas that were selected carefully from the Palestinian land and according to a map that ensure the achievement of its expansionist and security aims.

When the talk was for the first time about the future of the Palestinian occupied territories by the aggression of 67, mid-seventies of the last century, it accelerated the pace of settlement at a time when it began to manipulate by classifying the settlements into security and political, in which it connected the first with its existential future, and it introduced the second as a negotiation issue.

But the biggest challenge that Israel felt regarding the settlement was though the banner «land for peace», which rose by Madrid Conference, at the autumn of 1991. Since that time, Tel Aviv worked in the settlement issue in accordance with the strategy that exists on the race against the time to make the settlement web a reality matter that puts the international society before different calculations.

Oslo Accords Came to calm the concerns of Israel about the future of the settlements, because the compromise that emerged from the agreement and its mechanisms and bases excluded the settlement structure and its inhabitants from the circle of direct research, and left it up to the so-called the «final» solution, while the attention focused during the five years that followed the launch the settlement on giving arts of the West Bank to the PA, which was born a year after the agreement.

The mechanisms and bases of settlement allowed to Israel to divide the West Bank into three zones. So, it gave to the PA what belongs to the Palestinian people, which is, the residential areas only, except the East Jerusalem and vital areas that were under the occupation administrative and security authorities. And between the two regions the occupation and PA shared (theoretically) the authority over the rest of the land without having any security authority for the Palestinians over most of the Palestinian of West Bank territories.

After that, Israel considered it was given of the territory to the PA as «enough» linking with its expansion and security interests, and within its «realistic» reading of Oslo Accords; and therefore made the so-called «transitional stage » as a final stage, and all the negotiations rounds failed to overcome this occupation equation.

Israel came out (practically) from Oslo with security and economic achievements through the restrictions and conditions that were imposed on the Palestinians. But the most important achievement for it was the settlement, which has already become as it planned, a strong «viable» connected net, which is the aspect Oslo talked about regarding the Palestinian state which is eroding with the passage of time, the chances of establishing it according to the Palestinian National aspiration.

Practically, Oslo Accords gave the Palestinians the houses in which they live only, and a limited of their possessions and lands; while the settlement spreads and stealing these properties, would the State of the occupation seized them under the pretext of «ownerless land», but the most dangerous was the settlement expansion at the expense of Palestinian private- properties by the admission of Israel itself.

Basically, the occupation deals with all the Palestinian Bank including Jerusalem as an «ownerless land» without owners. And that the Palestinians do not deserve the claiming of the ownership of the whole land.

Also there were committees that were formed by the Israeli government came up with this conclusion, and announced it on common.

While the security and administrative Israeli government institutions to were supervising on the settlement and sponsoring it, we have been witnessing since many years involvement of the Knesset in this through bills that protect the settlements and punish its opposers, and recently the proposal of a bills that legalizes the settlement which was built on private Palestinian properties, under the pretext of the settlement of these properties by paying sums of money to their owners and closing the door before trying to restore these properties.

Since the Security Council adopted a resolution condemning the settlement at the end of the last year, Netanyahu and his government have accelerated the pace of the settlement expansion through deploying thousands of settlement units in Jerusalem and different areas of the West Bank.

The Israeli government wants to tell the Palestinians and the international community that the settlement will be «better» after the Security Council resolution. And that it exceeded practically any possibility for the settlement with the Palestinian side, when it announced its intention to annex the settlement of Maale Adumim, and perhaps it postponed implementing it until the meeting of Netanyahu- Trump, to ensure the implementation of the most dangerous section of the settlement file through the annexation and legislation.

The annexation and legislation constitute according to the opinion of many observers a new and dangerous phase of the Israeli expansionist policy, not because it practically cancel an opportunity for an independent Palestinian state only, but because it seek to reap the «fruits» of settlement which has reached to an advanced stage of integration.

In case there is a legislation and annexation to any settlement, so the settlement construction become to Israel as a private matter and no one has the right to protest against that including the Palestinians. Since the occupation of the West Bank in 1967 until today the settlement has been moved from the infiltration stage to the stage in which it become the most prominent title for the electoral programs for the candidates to the Knesset or to compete for the leadership of the parties in the Zionist Israeli partisan scene.

What the occupation recognized early, is that the settlement forms the basic practical mechanism to achieve its expansionist project and perpetuate its occupation to Palestinian land, and this explains the map of the spreading of the settlements, which took practically the best and the richest land with natural resources.

Needless to say, that any move will be done by the occupying state towards the settlement on the ground or in the Knesset, but to contribute in closing the door before an opportunity to establish an independent Palestinian state, which should provoke the Palestinians to face the Israeli expansionist policy in the field and the politics. And before the Palestinians there are serious chances for that.

Mohammad Al-Sahli is Editor in Chief of Al-Hourriah newspaper, the official speaker of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Translated by Al-Hourriah English Staff

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