Israel extends its control over Palestinian land in the heart of Hebron city in the southern West Bank
“A plan for a new settlement neighborhood revealed”

Posted: 20/10/2016

 

On the 23 of August 2016, Israeli sources revealed details of a plan to establish a new settlement neighborhood in the heart of Hebron City in the southern occupied West Bank. Sources reported of 28 new settlement units to replace an existing Israeli Military base namly "Plugat Hamitkanim" Near the so-called “Beit Ramono Yeshivah – Shavei Hebron” in Hebron, which was formerly Hebron’s city central bus station. Apparently, the site of the planned settlement has been assigned by the former Israeli “Defense Minister”, Moshe Ya’alon, who agreed to allocate the land for settlement construction. The site allocated for the new settlement is planned to house six new Jewish families with the aim to increase the number of settlers living in the heart of Hebron city and to consolidate the Jewish hold on the Land.

Israel claims owners of the land; however further analysis of the case showed that during the eighties (1982-1983), Israel has requisitioned the land for security needs and established the aforementioned military base; Later between 1997 and 2002, and as part of its plan to strengthen its hold on the land, the Israeli Civil Administration issued three new military orders (holding numbers 16/02/T, 09/97/T and 23/00/T) seizing 2.1 dunums of Palestinian land in the area surrounding the existing military base. Later in 2009, another military order holding number 15/09/T was issued and seized another 2.8 dunums of land where the so-called "Plugat Hamitkanim" military base exists.

Again on the 31st of October 2006, Israel issued another military order prohibiting Palestinian entrance to the area. This military order was issued under the title "Order concerning Closure of Territory - Beit Romano - Military Order No. 06/09", with regard to military order number 378 issued back in the year 1970 and related to declaring lands in the West Bank as “Closed Areas”. See Photo 1 & Photo 2

http://orders.arij.org/scanned/MO_2016_05_14_32895172.jpg

http://orders.arij.org/scanned/MO_2016_05_14_32895173.jpg

 

Article 90 of the M.O. No. 378 of 1970 states that “ (A) A Military Commander may issue an order declaring any area or place to be a closed area. Anyone who is found entering or leaving the area without a written permit issued by or on behalf of a Military Commander, or with a permit which was issued under false pretenses, shall be guilty of an offence under this order. (B) Any person who enters an area or place closed in accordance with sub-clause (A) without a written permit issued by or on behalf of a Military Commander or with a permit which was issued under false pretenses, or who remains in the area or place subsequent to the expiry of the validity of such a permit or in contravention of the conditions set by the permit, may be removed from the area or place by any soldier.”[1] See Map 1

Accordingly, Palestinians living nearby were denied access to the area. Note that earlier in 2007, the Israeli daily newspaper “Haaretz” reported that in 1991, the Israeli Justice Ministry that time (Dan Meridor), handed down an opinion determining that “the Israeli military commander can allow Israeli inhabitants, including civilians, to enter the territory, for temporary residence, if and to the extent that it is in line with military needs there.[2]" However, it seems that the Israeli military is the body in line with Jewish settlers’ needs in the area as Israel’s latest declaration to replace the existing military base with a new settlement reveals all. The Israeli military has seized the land in the past under the claim of “security needs”, while the real intention was to reserve the land for future settlement building. 

On the 6th of September 2012, the Israeli Civil Administration issued another military order holding No. 15/09/T (Amendment and Extension), extending the validity of the seizure of the land and amending the borders of the seized lands.  See Map 1 of details of the military orders that were issued in the area.

The area of the planned settlement is off access to Palestinians, locally known Ash Shuhada Street). Since February 1994, Israel closed Palestinian shops in the area and prohibited Palestinian access following a mass murder carried out by an immigrated American-Israeli settler, Baruch Goldstein, who killed 29 Palestinians and injured tens others while in they were inside the Ibrahimi Mosque. Around 1000 Israeli settlers live in 4 Israeli settlements in the area and surrounding the illegally allocated planned settlement site.

To conclude,

Ever since the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory, the consecutive Israeli governments has strategically implanted hundreds of illegal settlements within the occupied territories, and have pursued a policy that resulted in disrupting the territorial contiguity of the Palestinian communities in all forms with the plan to make the establishment of a Palestinian state a mission impossible.  These Israeli settlements  has also served an Israeli military purpose as stated in the Drobles plan which clearly cite the settlements as the first line of defense against any possible aggression against the State of Israel.  'Settlement throughout the entire Land of Israel is for security and by right. A strip of settlements at strategic sites enhances both internal and external security alike, as well as making concrete and realizing our right to Eretz Israel'. 'Master Plan for the Development and Settlement in Judea and Samaria, 1979-1983.'

 

[1] Israel Law Center. Israel Military Order No. 378: Order Concerning Security Provisions
http://www.israellawresourcecenter.org/israelmilitaryorders/fulltext/mo0378.htm

[2] HAARETZ. IDF Says It Needs Settlement in Hebron Army Base
http://www.haaretz.com/idf-says-it-needs-settlement-in-hebron-army-base-1.216255

 

 

Prepared By  
The Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem
ARIJ