Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN — Part 5 of 10

The Government and the World Zionist Organization yesterday decided to establish eight settlements in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. But so far there is money for just three, so approval of five settlements was given "in principle." The three settlements where actual work is to begin are: Susia, in the southern sector of Mount Hebron; Kokhva, south of Gush Etzion; and Ginat, north-west of Jenin. A government source said 20 million Israel shekels have been earmarked for each of the three to settle 50 to 60 families in the first stage. The Committee also decided, in principle, to establish Negohot, Adora, Omarim and Yakin in the southern area of Mount Hebron, and a settlement in northern Gaza Strip for former Yamit residents. Three other agricultural settlements - Beit Mirsim, Eshkolot and Yatir C' -also in the southern Mount Hebron area, were not approved yesterday as the Government and the World Zionist Organization have yet to discuss land and water allocations for them. The Minister for Justice, Mr. Moshe Nissim, emphasized that the establishment of the new settlements was conditional on the approval from the State Attorney that they were being built on State land and not on privately-owned land. Infrastructure works started yesterday for the creation of two settlements, Yoezer and Ofarim, in the Tulkarm area. The decision to establish them was taken two months ago. (Jerusalem Post, 6 September 1982)

The Israel water company "Mekorot" is to administer all matters relating to water supplies and water resource in the West Bank; a decision in principle to that effect has been taken in the Ministry of Defence. "Mekorot" has hitherto dealt with water supply and well-sinking only for the Jewish settlements, whereas the water department in the civilian administration was responsible for water supply to Arab localities. With the transfer of control to "Mekorot," it is now expected that the water department in the civilian administration will be abolished. Senior Israeli water officials described the decision as purely political and as having nothing to do with the level of maintenance of the West Bank water network.

The West Bank Military Government recently published orders declaring some 30,000 dunums in various parts of the area as "State land," thus permitting their allocation for Jewish settlement. According to West Bank sources, an order affecting more than 20,000 dunums on the southern slopes of the Hebron hills was published last week, and it was reported that bulldozers were working on another tract of some 10,000 dunums near the village of Surif in the Hebron district. The Surif mukhtars, who received the notice declaring their land as "State land," said the land was privately owned and that the owners intended to petition the Military Appeals Board. (Jerusalem Post, 13 September 1982; Al Fajr, 17 September 1982)

The civil administration in the Tulkann area declared some 10,000 dunums of land in the village of Deir-Istiya as "State-land." The local rnukhtar reported that the landowners intended to appeal against this decision. (Ha'aretz, 14 September 1982)

According to research conducted by Dr. Meron Benvenisti for the New York City University, Israel may seize some 60 per cent of the West Bank lands. It emerged from an aerial photography map that some 3.2 million dunums out of a total of 5 million dunums of West Bank land was rocky and grazing ground, a considerable part of which had already been declared "State land." Some 400,000 dunums were "absentee land," mostly concentrated in the Jordan Valley area. Most of the Jordan Valley settlements were located on such land. Finally, some 70,000 dunums were lands bought by private individuals. (Ha'aretz, 14 September 1982)

According to Mr. Zee'v Ben Yosef, an aide to Mr. Matityahu Drobles, Chairman of the Zionist Federation's Settlement Department, the pace of settlement on the West Bank during the next three decades would not go beyond an average of one a year. The main thrust in the future, according to the official, will be to populate existing settlements rather than establish new ones. Mr. Ben Yosef added that there were at present 103 settlements in the West Bank, including those under construction, with a population of 25,000. (But according to a spokesman of the other chairman of the Department, Mr. Ra'anan Weitz, there were only 80 settlements in the West Bank with a Jewish population of 8,000.) On the Golan Heights there were according to the same source, 35 settlements with 10,000 residents, and in the Gaza Strip, a dozen settlements with about 1,000 residents. According to a plan proposed by Mr. Drobles - but not yet approved by any official body - another 20 to 30 settlements would be built on the West Bank by the year 2010, and there were proposals for doubling the Jewish population of the Golan Heights in the next three years and adding some new settlements in the central Golan. There were also plans to bring the Jewish population of the Gaza Strip up to 10,000. (Ha'aretz, 20 September 1982)

The 103rd settlement in the West Bank was reportedly established. It is called Anatot and is located between the villages of Hizma and Anata, on the line between the Neve- Yaacov and French Hill suburbs. Lorries reportedly moved prefabricated houses in the area to prevent Arab farmers from Hizma village from planting their land and from erecting new houses in the area. (Ma'ariv, Ha'aretz, 1 October; Al Fajr, 8 October 1982)

Speaking at the ceremony for the laying of the cornerstone of the new settlement of "Eley-Sinai," in the northern sector of the Gaza Strip, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Mr. Michael Dekel, announced that the Government "planned to add 70,000 to 80,000 Jews to populate the Judea and Samaria area, (and that it would) extend (Israeli) sovereignty when it deems it proper to do so." (Yediot Aharonot, 8 October 1982) Speaking in a visit to settlements in "Samaria," Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Mr. Michael Dekel, said he was in favour of including in the State's settlement plans rocky and barren lands which at present belonged to Arabs, as well as lands which it was possible to buy, and not to limit such planning to State lands alone. On the same occasion, the head of the Gush-Etzion council, Mr. Shilo Gal, revealed that a team composed of Gush-Etzion settlers at present carried out "control expeditions aimed at locating illegal Arab construction and Arab farmers' seizure of State lands." The team was reportedly operating in co-ordination with the civil administration and the Israeli Defence Forces authorities. (Ha'aretz, 13 October 1982)

The dedication ceremony was reported of a new religious settlement in "Samaria." It is called Einav and is located on the Tulkarm-Nablus road, near Anabta. (Jerusalem Post, 13 October 1982)

Villagers in Burin, south-west of Nablus, reported that they had been served with notices declaring that 2,800 dunums of cultivated land they claimed was theirs was "State land." The seized land was reportedly designed for the permanent settlement of Berakha, which was intended to provide housing for the Samaritan community on nearby Mount Gerisim. One hundred eighty Burin families were reportedly affected by the confiscation. They were asked to report to the office of the Absentee Properties guardian in Nablus to receive compensation for their confiscated land, but they said they would go to the High Court and would not accept any compensation. (Jerusalem Post, Ha'aretz, 18 October; Al Fajr, 22 October 1982)

The Israeli authorities confiscated 500 dunums of land from the area of the village of Khader near Bethlehem. The confiscated land was reportedly part of the properties of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate. (AZ Fajr, 22 October 1982)

Residents of Kharbata, 14 kilometres north-west of Ramallah, have reportedly received notices that 1,200 dunums adjacent to the village were "State land." There are several Jewish settlements in the area and the confiscated land would be used for their expansion. Two thirds of the families in the village reportedly have land in the confiscated zone. Owners were told that they had 21 days to appeal against the decision. (Jerusalem Post, Ha'aretz, 26 October; AZ Fajr, 29 October 1982)

Mr. Menachem Begin, and his deputy and Minister for Housing, Mr. David Levy, announced the implementation of the 1980 decision to rebuild the Jewish quarter in Hebron. A special team has already been formed to implement the decision and work on the project was to begin immediately. In arelated development it was later reported that Kiryat-Arba settlers had begun demolishing constructions near the "Abraham the Patriarch" synagogue in the centre of Hebron, with a view to preparing an area for the building of 2 1 housing units there. The demolition works were later stopped by order of the military commander of the "Judea" region. Senior Government sources later confirmed that a plan had been approved to build a number of houses in the synagogue site to provide better housing conditions for the families who lived there and in the Hadassa house. But the sources emphasized that there was no intention to create a continuity of Jewish houses between the synagogue site and the Hadassa house, as demanded by Rabbi Levinger. (Yediot Aharonot, 26 October; Ha'aretz, 29 October; Al Fajr, 29 October 1982)

The Jewish National Fund recently started to reclaim land for farming between the security fence and the Jordan river. Over 4,000 dunums have already been reclaimed and 5,000 dunums more would be reclaimed before the end of the present fiscal year. (Ha'aretz, 27 October 1982)

Speaking at the establishment of the new village of Neve- Tzuf, near Ramallah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Housing, Mr. David Levy, announced that five new permanent settlements in the West Bank would be created shortly. He revealed that 2,000 housing units were at present under construction in the territories, and that there were six towns in various stages of development, in addition to smaller settlements. In arelated development, it was reported that the Government was planning to invest some 470 million Israel shekels in the establishment and enlarging of settlements in the West Bank, and that it had requested the Knesset Finance Committee to approve a corresponding increase in the budget for the present fiscal year. The money was, according to one report, designed for the following urban settlements: Kokhav Yair, Na'ala, Yo'ezer and Offarim, as well as for the following rural settlements: Tekoa B', Susia, Antil, Ginat and Kokhba. Thirty million Israel shekels were reportedly designed for the State Land Administration to enable it to set up a land patrol (similar to the "Green Patrol" which operates in Israel proper) to watch over the State lands. Finally, some of the money was earmarked for the construction of roads in the West Bank. (Jerusalem Post, Ha'aretz, 4 November 1982)

The Jewish National Fund revealed that a 7,000-dunum tract of virgin land on the western slopes of the Jordan river had been cleared for planting so as to provide further arable land for settlements in that region. It was reported that a total of 20,000 dunums was to be turned into cultivable lands for these settlements and others to be established. (Jerusalem Post, 5 November 1982)

A team of legal advisers from the land department and the Ministry of Agriculture was reportedly preparing a series of orders to organize the process of distributing Arab land to Israeli construction companies in the West Bank. Specific procedures would be followed in order to allocate certain pieces of land to Israeli construction companies in order to build private homes. (Al Fajr, 7 November 1982)

Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Mr. Michael Dekel, announced that Israel would build or expand 20 settlements in the West Bank during the next 12 months. He did not say how many of the 20 settlements would be new, but reiterated Israel's goal to populate 160 West Bank settlements with 100,000 Jews within the next five years. Speaking in an interview on Israel Radio, Mr. Dekel said that at present there were about 25,000 Jews in 103 settlements built since 1967. The Ministerial Committee on Settlement (of which Mr. Dekel is a key member), planned to add 57 more settlements with about 60,000 to 80,000 more Jews by 1987, he said. (Jerusalem Post, 7 November 1982)

Details were revealed about a plan, prepared by the Zionist Federation's Settlement Department, to add 10,000 more Jews to existing and new settlements in the Gaza Strip within the next five years. Under that plan eight new settlements, including one town, would be built, and 11 existing settlements would be expanded. At present there are about 1,000 Jews and 500,000 Arabs in the Gaza Strip. (Ma'ariv, 8 November 1982)

The Settlement Department of the Jewish Agency was reportedly about to submit to the Government a proposal to establish 20 additional settlements in the West Bank within the next two years. Seventeen of these settlements would be located in the mountain area and three in "north-western Samaria." Five of the 20 settlements had reportedly been already approved in the past by the Ministerial Committee on Settlement, whereas the other 1 5 were still awaiting approval. (Ha'aretz, 22 November)

The ceremony for the laying of the corner-stone of "Nofim," the first settlement to be developed entirely by private enterprise, was reported. The site of the new settlement is a few kilometres east of Qalqilya. The settlement was reportedly planned to house some 3,000 families living in villas and cottages valued at $100,000 - 700 of which are to be built within the next two years. Speaking at the ceremony, the Head of the Shomron settlements council, Mr. Katzover, expressed his satisfaction with the fact that people were coming to live in Samaria "without ideological reasons." (Jerusalem Post, 25,26 November; Ha'aretz, 26 November)

Jewish settlers in the West Bank have set up a joint development company to promote and carry out their plans for massive settlement in the area. The company is jointly owned by "Amana," the Gush-Emunim settlement arm, and the various Jewish local councils recently created in the West Bank. It was further reported that Gush-Emunim was waiting for the Government's final approval for establishing 10 new settlements in the West Bank, seven of which had already been approved in principle by the Ministerial Committee on Settlement. Funds have already been allocated for the building of another 440 housing units in Kdumim, in "Samaria, in addition to the 240 already existing. It was earlier reported that after three days of debates on its settlement plan for the coming year "Amana" decided to adopt a plan providing for the creation of 20 community and rural settlements in the West Bank. Under that plan, the settlement efforts would be concentrated in the Gaza Strip, southern Mount Hebron area and "northern Samaria" (the Jenin area). (Ma'ariv, 26 November; Ha'aretz, 30 November; Jerusalem Post, 1 December)

Speaking before the Knesset Economic Committee, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Mr. Michael Dekel, said that some 25,000 Jews were at present living in the West Bank, and that by the end of 1987 their number was expected to reach 75,000. The Government planned several new settlements along four "strips" of land going from north to south: the western strip would be populated by settlers who would commute to their place of work inIsrael. Four new settlements were being planned in the area north of the Jiftlik, on the edge of the Jordan Valley, and a new urban centre was to be established in the Jenin area. Mr. Michael Dekel added that of the 5.5 million dunums of land in the area 1.7 million dunums were State land. More details were revealed in a later report about a Government decision to build 35 new urban settlements in the West Bank, in addition to the ones which had already been built which were planned for a population of 70,000. In addition, settlement officials reportedly estimated that the Jewish population in the West Bank would double and reach nearly 50,000 in the next three months. According to these estimates over 6,000 housing units would be completed during this period. (Jerusalem Post, 2, 9 December; Ha'aretz, 2,5,8 December 1982)

Farmers from the village of Deir Jarar, north of Ramallah, complained that settlers from the nearby settlement of Kokhav- Hashahar had begun cultivating and undertaking earthwork on land they claimed was Arab-owned. Several hundred dunums were reportedly involved. (Jerusalem Post, 15 December 1982)

Israeli bulldozers were reportedly bulldozing 200 dunums in the village of Illar, north of Tulkarm. The authorities informed the local village council that the 200 dunums would be confiscated. A new settlement had recently been built near the village. (Al Fajr, 10 December 1982)

A house located in the centre of Hebron, belonging to the Dweik family that had been evicted from it following the killing of Jewish settlers near the Hadassa house in Hebron two years ago, was handed over by the army to Kiryat-Arba settlers. Renovation works were reportedly under way in the building. (Ha'aretz, 19 December 1982)

Speaking before an international peace forum held in Tel Aviv on 17 December 1982, the former Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, Mr. Meron Benvenisti, said that while the yearly budget allocated by the Israeli Government to the 25,000 settlers (who at present live in the territories) was $US 200 million, only $US 26 million was allocated to the 700,000 West Bank Palestinian population. He added that 95 per cent of the land cases brought by West Bank landowners were rejected by the High Court which, he said, was connected to the Government. (Al Fajr; 24 December 1982)

Mr. Mattityahu Drobles, the head of the World Zionist Organization's Settlement Department, told the Knesset Economic Committee that about 40,000 Jewish settlers (8,000 families) would be added in the next few months to the 30,000 settlers in the West Bank. He added that during the coming months about 7,650 housing units would be completed (in addition to the 5,875 units already existing in the area). By 1986 the World Zionist Organization and the Government plan to settle 130,000 Jews there, and 30 settlements would be established. Mr. Drobles told the Committee that in 30 years there would be 1.3 million Jews in the West Bank, and said this plan would mean settling 70 per cent of the land of the West Bank which was not privately owned. In a related development, the Knesset Finance Committee approved the expenditure of 300 million Israel shekels for the building of five new roads in the West Bank. The new settlements concerned by that decision are: Ganim, Yakim, Adura, Sussiya and El-David. (Jerusalem Post, Ha'aretz, 30 December 1982)

The Ministry of Housing and Construction recently began building three new permanent settlements in the West Bank: Sussiya and Yakim, in the southern Hebron hills, and Ganim, east of Jenin. The Ministry of Housing was reportedly building kindergartens, school rooms, offices, clinics and other public buildings at each of the three settlements which, when completed, would house some 400 families. It was also reported that some 180 families began moving into five new building complexes sponsored by the Ministry in five existing West Bank settlements: Karnei Shomron, Neve Tzuf, Beit El, Kedumim and Kfar Adumim. (Jerusalem Post, 1 1 January 1983)

In Dahiriya, south of Hebron, the civil administration declared 20,000 dunums "State land" and gave the local Arab villagers 21 days to appeal to a Military Advisory Board. No settlements were reportedly planned for the area, but it was part of a land reserve the Government was building up in the vicinity of the pre-Six Day War "Green Line." (Jerusalem Post, Ha'aretz, 14 January 1983)

The Israeli Defence Forces spokesman announced that seven Nahal settlements (which are part of the 14 settlements that the Minister for Defence, Mr. Sharon, promised would be built in the West Bank this year) were under construction in the West Bank. They are: Tzoria, Gina, Ganim, Omrim, Tzelef, Rogan and Ma'aleh Levana. (Jerusalem Post, 17 January 1983)

The Ministerial Committee on Settlement approved the creation of the following two new agricultural settlements in southern Mount Hebron: Beit-Marsim and Eshkolot. (Ha'aretz, 17 January 1983) Israeli military authorities declare 28,000 dunums of land near Askar, in the Nablus area, as State land. (Al Fajr, 21 January 1983)

The Ministerial Settlement Committee's sub-committee on follow up, headed by Mr. Yuval Ne'eman, decided to create five new settlements in the Jordan Valley. Three of these settlements are to be built this year. (Ha'aretz, 24 January 1983)

According to reports appearing in the Israeli press during the period 27 January to 3 February 1983, the civil administration has already seized, or was about to seize, tens of thousands of dunums in various West Bank regions. The lands seized were partly designed as land-reserve for future settlements, partly for expanding existing ones and partly as natural reserves (which will also be used for settlement in a future stage). Expropriation orders were also issued for lands - mostly cultivated - where new roads are planned to be cut. The reports gave the following details:

(a) 500 dunums were seized and declared state land near the village of Battir, west of Bethlehem:

(b) 4,000 dunums are to be seized from farmers in the villages of Deir Istiya and Zeita, in the Tulkann area; this land is designed to become a suburb of the new town of Imam'el;

(c) 3,500 dunums north-east of Hebron, near the village of Si'ir, are to be given to the Har-Hevron regional council;

(d) 2,000 dunums designed for the expansion of Mitzpeh- Yeriho;

(e) 1,600 dunums near the villages of Surif and Kharas, west of Hebron, for the expansion of Mitzpeh-Adulam;

(f) 1,000 dunums near the village of Jaba', north of Hebron, are to be granted under lease to the Har-Hevron regional council;

(g) 1,000 dunums in the Jenin area, designed for the settlement of Sanur B';

(h) 700 dunums are to be granted under lease to the Shomron regional council for the expansion of Kamey- Shomron;

(i) 250 dunums south of Hebron, in the Jebel-Sindas area, are to be granted under lease to the Har-Hevron regional council;

(j) 30 dunums designed for the expansion of Givat-Ze'ev, north of Jerusalem. More lands are to be expropriated by the civil administration for the construction of the following roads;

(k) a 9 kilometre road linking the settlement of Mikhmash, on the "Allon-road," with the Arab village of Mukhmas, and thence to Jerusalem; the road is topass though cultivated lands belonging to the villages of Deir-Dibwan and Mukhmas;

(l) a road to Jebel Mureir, south of Bethlehem;

(m) 7.5 dunums for a new sector of the road linking north-Jerusalem with Ma'aleh-Adumim.

The civil administration reportedly cancelled the declaration as State land of a 100 dunum tract near the village of Battir, when it was established that the land belonged to a Greek church, and was not State owned. It was subsequently reported that the civil administration declared as State land some 20,000 dunums near the village of Salim, in the Nablus region, and some 4,000 dunums near Deir Diburan, in the Ramallah region. It was further reported that two stretches of land, totalling 170,000 dunums, were seized from residents of Yatta, near Hebron. The larger portion (up to 127,000 dunums) was taken "for military requirements," and the remaining plot was declared "State property." The several hundred owners were ordered to evacuate the area within 21 days. In the same context, it was recalled that a few months ago the Ministerial Committee on Settlement approved a plan, submitted by the Jewish Agency's Settlement Department, to develop Jewish settlement in the southern Mount Hebron area which is almost empty of Jewish settlers. Under the plan at least six new sett1ement.s would be built in that area: Yakin, Susiya, Negohot, Atniel, Eshkolot and Adura. (Ha'aretz, 27, 30 January, 3 February; Ma'ariv, 3 February; Al Fajr, 4, 1 1 February 1983)

The Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Mr. Michael Dekel, who co-ordinates settlement activities, said that Israel needed two more years of continued settlement construction in the West Bank in order to create conditions that would prevent a return of that territory to Arab rule. Mr. Dekel revealed that 20 to 30 private construction companies were at present participating in building activities in the West Bank, demand for houses was very strong and, if it continued, some 100,000 Israelis would live there by 1985. (Ha'aretz, 3 March 1983)

The Minister for Defence, Mr. Moshe Arens, stated, at a meeting with members of the Council of Jewish Settlements in the Territories, that he favoured expanding Jewish settlements in the areas, but the expansion must be done within the law. He mentioned the disbanding by the Israeli Defence Forces of the "Kach" settlement of El Nakam, near Hebron, and stressed that settlements could only be established with the agreement of the authorities. Mr. Arens further emphasized that industrial enterprises in Jewish settlements should be staffed only by Jews. (Jerusalem Post, 8 March 1983)

The Government reportedly approved eight new settlements on the crest of the "Samaria hills," including "Shechem Illit" (Upper Nablus), overlooking the Arab city. At present, the site overlooking Nablus is occupied by a military outpost called "Ma'ahaz Berakha," but the chairman of the Zionist Federation's Settlement Department, Mr. Matityahu Drobles, reportedly proposed the creation there of upper Nablus which would eventually number 2,000 to 2,500 families. According to one report, the Government's decision was to convert eight existing Nahal outposts into civilian settlements, and not to create new ones. It was further reported that Gush Emunim's Settlement Department, "Arnana," expressed satisfaction at the Government's decision and announced that dozens of settlers' nuclei were ready for settling in these outposts, and that they had been waiting for a Government decision to that effect. In a related development, it was reported that the first 15 families were beginning to move into the new town of Efrat, in the Etzion bloc. It was later reported that the Peace Now Movement warned the Government against dedicating Upper Nablus as a civilian settlement on Independence Day, saying that if the ceremony were held the Movement would send thousands of its supporters there to protest. (Jerusalem Post, 22 March, 10 April; Ha'aretz, Ma'ariv, 22 March 1983)

According to a 30-year master-plan prepared by the Zionist Federation's Settlement Department, under the guidance of its chairman Mr. Matityahu Drobles, and which is to be presented to the cabinet shortly for approval, 57 new settlements should be established in the West Bank by 1987, bringing the total of settlements in the area to 165. Under this plan, the Jewish population in the West Bank should, within 30 years, reach parity with the projected Arab Population, to stand at 1.3 million. According to reports, an analysis of rates of construction in the 108 existing settlements in the West Bank indicates that 6,000 housing units will be occupied within the near future, and 12,000 are under construction. On this basis it is projected that by 1986 the Jewish population in the area will be over 100,000. Of the 165 settlements envisaged in the "30-year plan," five will be large towns and urban settlements (Kiryat-Arba and Ariel, and three large urban suburbs with population between 10,000 and 30,000 families), 36 small urban communitiesof up to 3,000families, 65 community settlements of 400 families, and 59 moshavim and kibbutzim. The anticipated rate of construction is 5,000 to 6,000 housing units per year. The plan calls for the construction of an additional 400 kilometres of roads to improve access and thereby encourage private initiative, the development of 400 to 500 dunums of industrial space per year, and the continued acquiring of privately owned Arab and "State lands" by the Government and private investors. Some 20,000 dunums of such "State lands" have been earmarked for afforestation, grazing and tourism facilities. The plan includes a list of priorities which emphasizes rapid development in the "greater Jerusalem" area, a strip along the main north-south highway, the north-western corner of the West Bank, an area lying between Tulkarm and Kedumim, and the southern Hebron hills. To encourage Jewish population to move into the West Bank, the plan calls for severe restrictions on construction in Israel's main urban centres, along the coastal plain. (Jerusalem Post, Ha'aretz, 10 April 1983)

The inauguration ceremony was reported of the new civilian settlement of Bracha - the future "Upper Nablus" - on a hill located 8 kilometres south of Nablus. At the ceremony, Nahal soldiers handed over the settlement to 15 civilian families, while a crowd of some 10,000 members of the Peace Now Movement and sympathizers demonstrated, protesting against the new settlement. Upper Nablus is planned to eventually house 800 families. The first 15 families are Gush-Emunim members. (Jerusalem Post, 19 April 1983)

The joint ministerial-Jewish Agency Settlement Committee reportedly approved the establishment of three more settlements in "western Samaria." The three settlements have been temporarily named Oranit, Bruhim and Dir Kala, and are planned to include between 1,000 and 1,500 housing units, depending on the land reserves found in each area. Under a plan submitted to the committee by the Ministry of Housing, a number of highways would be built in the West Bank in order to by-pass large urban Arab areas. The roads are planned to avoid Nablus and the nearby Balata refugee camp, Qalqilya and Kafr Kassim. (Jerusalem Post, Ha'aretz, 20 April 1983)

10,000 dunums of land near the village of Surif, in the Hebron district, were declared State land. Civil administration officials notified the village council of the decision and gave the landowners 30 days to produce documents and evidence of ownership. (Ha'aretz, 24 April 1983)

Residents of Umar, near Gush-Etzion, complained that the civil administration seized about 350 dunums of their land and declared it State property. The land is expected to be transferred to the Gush Emunim settlement of Migdal Oz. According to the villagers, the High Court of Justice has already ruled that the land belongs to the village, and they intend to petition the court against the seizure. (Jerusalem Post, Ha'aretz, 27,28 April 1983)

2,250 dunums were seized in the Ramallah and Tulkarm areas. According to villagers from Beituniya near Ramallah, they were notified by representatives of the civil administration of the seizure of some 1,000 dunums on the grounds that the land was State property. The villagers of Jebel el-Ras, near Tulkarm, were notified of a similar decision regarding 1,250 dunums of their lands. (Ha'aretz, 29 April 1983)

Dozens of landowners from the village of Bidya, in "western Samaria," on 1 May prevented heavy mechanical equipment, belonging to the Gad Development and Building Company, from preparing the infrastructure of the Elkana B settlement. The villagers maintained that work on the site was illegal since the land had never been sold. The Nablus District Court, in April, ordered that all work on the site be stopped. But despite the court order work was reportedly continuing. In a clash between the villagers and border police, one Bidya resident, aged 75, was killed, two others were wounded - one of them seriously - and one border policeman was shot in the head and stabbed in the hand. The security forces imposed a4-hour curfew on the village and arrested eight men and three women on suspicion of rioting. (Ha'aretz, 2,3 May; Jerusalem Post, Ma'ariv, 3 May 1983)

At a discussion held in Yiron, a Mount Hebron settlement, Mr. Matityahu Drobles, head of the Zionist Federation's Settlement Department, proposed the establishment of six settlements south of Hebron and the expansion of four existing settlements. Mr. Drobles revealed that his department intended to establish Susiya and Yakin as part of the six settlements, and proposed to turn the existing Nahal settlements Tene, Otniel Adora and Eshkolot into civilian settlements. In another development, it was reported that 1,600 dunums near the village of Akrabe were seized and declared State land, for the purpose of establishing the settlement of Tel Haim, which has not yet been approved by the Ministerial Settlement Committee. (Jerusalem Post, Ha'aretz, 9 May 1983)

A plan was announced by the Ministry of Housing to create a continuous Jewish presence in north-east Jerusalem, connecting the French Hill and Neveh Ya'acov suburbs. The new site, named "Pisgat-Tal," is located east of the Jerusalem- Ramallah road, on land expropriated in 1980. According to the Ministry of Housing, development of Jewish suburbs around Jerusalem is being given top priority in view of the fact that the Jewish-Arab population balance in Jerusalem and the surrounding villages is now one to one and rapidly shifting in favour of the Arabs. (Jerusalem Post, 1 1 May 1983) It was reported that out of 38 settlements under construction by private promoters in the West Bank, only 15 have been approved by the Ministerial Committee on Settlements, and only 5 have approval from the Supreme Planning Council, authorizing the allocation of land for construction, the form of the settlement and its outline plan. In a related development, it was reported that in various West Bank areas there was at present a large excess of available land over low demand from potential Jewish buyers. Thus, in the area of Surif, in Mount Hebron, 3,000 to 4,000 dunums were for sale, and there were no buyers. Several thousand dunums were also for sale along the "Allon Road," and several hundred dunums in the Latrun area. (Yedioth Aharanoth, 30 May; Ha'aretz, 3 1 May

According to a report by State Comptroller, Mr. Yitzhak Turik, published in the Hebrew weekly Kotoret Rashit, the Israeli Government has no authority to buy land in the West Bank, but it nevertheless owns 70,000 dunums - 50,000 of which were obtained from local people whose ownership of the land was not registered, and 20,000 from people who had registration documents. According to the same report, the Comptroller strongly attacked so-called "volunteers" who act as a go-between for the Government and Arab landowners. In another report, the same weekly magazine said that the Government was considering banning the sale of unregistered land in the West Bank to Israelis. This follows fears expressed recently that land sold to would-be West Bank settlers might not belong to the companies that are selling it. In the same context, it was reported that the Ministry of Housing and Construction intended to create six new settlements before the end of the year and that it was at present completing the construction of nine towns and 69 settlements in the WestBank. (Ha'aretz, 15 June; Jerusalem Post, Ha'aretz, Ma'ariv, 16 June)

The Israeli military authorities issued an expropriation order for some 5,000 dunums of land in the villages of Kobar and Beitillu, in the Ramallah district. The military authorities claimed the land is "abandoned property." (Al Fajr, 8 July 1983

Nahal (the pre-military cadet corps) is planning, according to its magazine, to establish nine military settlements in the West Bank within the next few months; three settlements and one outpost are to be established by the end of this month. They are: Teneh and Atniel, along the Hebron-Beersheba road; Ganim, south-east of Jenin, and Bitronot, south of Mehola in the Jordan Valley. Nalial outposts are to be established later at Ma'aleh Levona, between Nablus and Ramallah; Yitzhar, south of Nablus; Dolev, west of Ramallah; Aspar, north-east of Hebron, and Migdalim, near the "trans- Samaria" road. These sites are currently designed as "outposts," which are not financed by the World Zionist Organization, although they have usually been the nuclei for new civilian settlements. (Jerusalem Post, 20 July)

USURPATION OF PALESTINIAN LANDS AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF JEWISH SETTLEMENTS IN 1984

D. INFORMATION ON MEASURES OF ANNEXATION AND SETTLEMENT


The United Nations Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories reported on October 29, 1984(18) as follows:

1. Establishment of settlements

The joint Government-Jewish Agency settlement committee approved, on 4 September 1983, the establishment of "Ganim B," a settlement in the Jenin area, and the beginning of work on a previously approved settlement in the southern Hebron hills, to be known as Otniel. (Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, 5 September 1983)

Some 120 families were to move into Emanuel in a fortnight's time to form the nucleus of what was expected to become the biggest Jewish town in the West Bank. The population was expected to total 350 families by the end of October 1983. More than 900 flats had been sold. Some 150 of these flats were sold to Jews in the United States, the United Kingdom and Belgium, and 25 of those families were already in absorption centres in Israel. (JerusalemPost, 20 September 1983)

Speaking at a ceremony marking the fifth anniversary of Tapuah, an "industrial community settlement" in the West Bank, former Defence Minister Ariel Sharon declared that even if Israel did not currently claim those parts of Eretz Yisrael which comprised Jordan, "we should always recall that, though they are not in our hands, they are ours." Recalling that strategic and security reasons were used to justify the establishment of Tapuah, which is located on a hill overlooking the intersection of the "trans-Samaria" and the main Jerusalem-Nablus roads, Sharon declared: "We should no longer stress the contribution to security but rather the fact that Tapuah and these areas are an integral part of Eretz Yisrael, just like Jerusalem, Hebron, Shechem (Nablus) and the mountains of Gilead (in Jordan)." The Jewish Agency's head of settlement department, Mattityahu Drobles, said that the Jewish population in the West Bank numbered more than 30,000 and that 7,000 housing units would be completed within a year. "There would be more than 100,000 Jews in the area by 1985," he said. (Jerusalem Post, 26 September 1983)

According to a study of settlement in the West Bank prepared by Mr. Meron Benvenisti, the already existing infrastructure of land and other resources prepared by the Likud Government over the preceding seven years was more than sufficient for it to continue to encourage a large number of Israelis to settle across the 1967 "Green Line." According to the study, some 40 per cent of land (2,150,000 dunums) in the West Bank was available for Israeli use and had already been acquired through expropriation for military purposes, declarations of State land, private and quasi-government purchases and zoning laws which curbed Arab construction. Of this, over 50 per cent had been taken by the army as training areas and firing ranges (most in the Jordan Valley), 140,000 dunums had already been allocated for Jewish settlement, 150,000 for grazing and afforestation, 340,000 dunums had been set aside as nature reserves, 120,000 dunums had been allocated for Israeli agriculture, 15,000 dunums for industry and 40,000 dunums for roads. Approximately one third of the Gaza Strip had also been set aside for settlement. (Jerusalem Post, 4 October 1983)

The joint Government-World Zionist Organization settlement committee, on 5 October 1984, decided to convert six paramilitary settlements in the West Bank to civilian settlements. They are Brosh (in the northern Jordan Valley), Elisha (east of Jericho), Yitzhar (south-west of Nablus), Ginat (north-west of Jenin), Meitzad (north-west of Hebron) and Tzurit (south-west of the Etzion bloc). The Committee also approved the establishment of Tsofim, an urban settlement planned for 1,200 families, to be built by private investors north east of Qalqilya. With the creation of these settlements the number of Jewish settlements in the West Bank would reach 1 18. (Jerusalem Post, Ha'aretz, 6 October 1983)

The newly-appointed municipality in Hebron, headed by Israeli officer Zamir Shemesh, reportedly stopped issuing construction licenses in two neighbourhoods close to the Israeli settlement of Kiryat-Arba: Ain Bani Sleim and Bir Mahjar. (Al Fajr, 7 October 1983)

The World Zionist Organization's Settlement Department had invested, over the preceding three years, $12 million in land reclamation works along the bank of the River Jordan, beyond the security fence. So far 12,000 dunums had already been reclaimed in the area (out of 21,000 dunums designed for reclamation), and 38 kms of roads were built. The co- Chairman of the Settlement Department, Mattityahu Drobles, said during a visit to the area that, by the end of 1987, 30 settlements would exist there, with a population of 10,000. There were 4,000 settlers living in 21 settlements at the time

of the report. (Ha'aretz, 10 October 1983) The joint Government-World Zionist Organization Settlement Committee, headed by Science and Development Minister Yuval Ne'eman, on 14 November 1983, approved the conversion of two Nahal settlements to civilian status: Beit Ha'araba, near Nevo, and Nahal Zurim in the Jordan Valley. The Committee also approved the establishment of Tel-Haim, south of Eilon-Moreh, and Ofarim B in the Binyamin district. (Jerusalem Post, Ma'ariv, 15 November 1983)

A Co-ordinating Committee for the Resettlement of Jews in the Muslim quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem was appointed and was to hold its first meeting on 29 November 1983. Its Chairman, Mr. E. Shilo, reportedly confirmed that the Committee was to consider the resettlement of Jews in the Muslim quarter - in addition to the 120 Jews already living there. He emphasized that there was no intention of modifying the demographic balance in the over-crowded quarter, but added that there were 26 houses there which were Jewish property - most of which was administered by the Custodian of Absentee Property. "In eight houses there were still Arab residents; in another eight there were Jewish residents and the remaining 12 were almost in ruins," Mr. Shilo said. He stated that the "10 to 20" Muslim families who had so far been evacuated from their houses in the quarter were fully compensated. (Ha'aretz, 29 November 1983)

According to military sources, the IDF had decided to establish six new Nahal outposts in the West Bank during January 1984. Nahal outposts are usually handed over, at a later stage, to civilian settlers. (Jerusalem Post, 29 December 1983)

Deputy Prime Minister and Housing Minister David Levy, on 9 January 1984, told a delegation of settlers that the "impetus of construction in the settlements will continue and all new settlements whose creation was decided will be built" Levy told the settlers that 6,000 housing units were at present under construction in the territories, and that when these were inhabited the Jewish population of the territories would double. The Minister added that in the past year alone there was a 45 per cent growth in the Jewish population of the territories - from 20,000 to 29,000. (Ha'aretz, 10 January 1984)

On 2 January 1984, the Knesset confirmed, by a majority of 54 to 46, the first reading of a proposal of a law to amend the law governing transfer of property so as to facilitate deals made by Israeli citizens to acquire land in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. (Al Fajr, 11 January 1984)

A non-profit organization called "Atara Leyoshna," whose aim is to settle Jews inside the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem's Old City, reportedly started construction in buildings it controls in the quarter. On 18 January 1984, it was reported that the organization planned to spend I.S. 300 million in building flats in six buildings it controls in the. Muslim quarter. According to one report, some 150 Jews at present lived in the Muslim quarter. (Jerusalem Post, 13 and 18 January; Ha'aretz, 13 and 18 January 1984) The Ministerial Committee on Settlement approved the creation of two new Nahal outposts in the Gaza Strip, which would later be turned into civilian settlements. Their names are Katif "H" and "I." The chairman of the Committee, Minister Yuval Ne'eman, said that despite the economic situation there was no intention of stopping the impetus of Jewish settlements in all parts of the land of Israel. (Ha'aretz, 1 February 1984)

A document of the Zionist Federation's Settlement Department contained details about the future development of the "Benyamin" Jewish regional council - which stretches north of Jerusalem. According to the plan, by the year 2010, 27 new settlements were to be built in that area, sources of employment and infrastructure were to be created and a sum of IS 85 billion was to be invested. In 26 years' time the Jewish population of the area would stand at 190,000 in 47 settlements, and the Arab population would be 240,000. (Ha'aretz, 6 February 1984)

The site of a settlement, part of a plan drawn up by the Knesset's Settlement Commission in January 1984, providing for the erection of five new settlements in the Gaza Strip, was traced in an area between the towns of Khan Yunis and Rafah, where houses and land belonging to hundreds of families living in that area are located. The settlement was to include 3,000 housing units. (Al Tali'ah, 23 February 1984)

A new settlement, named "Eruvin" was set up on 5 March 1984 south of one Etzion bloc, at the initiative of the Etzion bloc regional council and with the approval of the State bodies concerned. Eruvin, which consisted of three tents and a barbed wire perimeter, was located between the village of Bet-Ummar and Halhul, some 5 kms south of the Etzion bloc. It was planned that some 150 families would settle in Eruvin. Eight dunums of land belonging to local Arabs were confiscated in order to build a road to the new settlement. Arab residents expressed the fear that more lands would be seized for the future expansion of the settlement. (Ha'aretz, 6 March 1984)

On 2 April 1984, the Ministerial Settlement Committee and World Zionist Organization officials decided to establish two new settlements in the West Bank: Livna - in southern Mount Hebron, north of the Yattir forest, with 30 housing units in the first stage - and Eli, north-west of Shilo, on a hill called Jebel a-Rawa, also with 30 housing units in the first stage. The Committee also decided to turn the Ma'aleh- Levona outpost into a civilian settlement, and to locate a site for the permanent settlement of "Adam" - a nucleus composed of residents of Jerusalem suburbs. It was suggested that the permanent settlement would be set up near the village of Jaba, north of Anatot. (Ha'aretz, 2 April; Jerusalem Post, Ha'aretz, 3 April 1984)

The World Zionist Organization, on 5 April 1984, completed moving some 30 buildings to a hill south-east of Nablus for the projected settlement of Tel-Haim, situated near the site which had originally served Eilon-Moreh, some 5 kms southeast of Nablus. Tel-Haim was to be the thirteenth settlement within a 10-kms radius of Nablus. According to a source in the World Zionist Organization, with the construction of Tel-Haim the city of Nablus will be surrounded by Jewish settlements, except for the area north-east of the city, where the nearest settlement, Irit, is more than 10 kms away. (Jerusalem Post, 6 April 1984)

The Ministerial Settlement Committee, on 10 April 1984, approved the creation of four new settlements in the West Bank: Irit - 15 kms north-east of Nablus - which was to be a communal settlement with 250 families; Adam -near the village of Jaba, north-east of Jerusalem, which was to be peopled by a nucleus composed of residents of Jerusalem suburbs; Omarim B, in southern Mount Hebron - a secularcommunal settlement, and Hirbert-Zanoah - also a secularcommunal settlement near the ancient site of Yattir, in southern Mount Hebron. Two settlements were approved in the Gaza Strip: Nissanit and Bnei-Atzmon. The approval followed a decision by Finance Minister Cohen-Orgad to release a large part of the settlement budget at the beginning of the financial year, on 1 April 1984. (Jerusalem Post, Ha'aretz, 11 April 1984)

On 9 May 1984, the inauguration was reported of two new settlements in the West Bank: Tel-Haim, near the village of Rujeib - the original site of Eilon-Moreh, and Ma'aleh- Levona, on the Ramallah-Nablus road. (Jerusalem Post, 9 May 1984)

The Finance Ministry reportedly decided to approve an additional budget for the creation of five new settlements and the expansion of 15 to 20existing ones in the West Bank. The Chairman of the Zionist Federation's Settlement Department, Mattityahu Drobles, on 14 May 1984, announced that his Department had already started preparatory work for the construction of the new settlements. On 14 May 1984, the Ministerial Committee on Settlements decided to approve the conversion into civilian settlements of two outposts in the West Bank: Migdalim- west of Maaleh Efraim andHakhlili -south of Hebron. Mr. Drobles reportedly said that it would be impossible to establish these settlements unless the Finance Ministry provided an additional budget for them. The Ministerial Committee also approved the establishment of Adam, which was to be built by the Housing Ministry 8 kms north of Jerusalem, in the Jaba area. On 14 May 1984, the Committee approved a request by private entrepreneurs to build two settlements in the northern West Bank, near the "Green Line": Neria, near Elkana, north-east of Petah-Tikva, and Ya'arit, across from Tzur-Natan. But it was reported that the Justice Minister, Moshe Nissim, on 15 May 1984, appealed to the Cabinet in plenary session against that decision, as the ownership of the land on which the two settlements were planned was still disputed. According to a Justice Ministry source, the appeal automatically suspended implementation of the Committee's decision until the entire Cabinet considered the matter. (Jerusalem Post, Ha'aretz, Ma'ariv, 15 May 1984; Jerusalem Post, Ha'aretz, 16 May 1984)

The Chairman of the Zionist Federation's Settlement Department, Mattityahu Drobles, on 28 May 1984, presented a "Metropolitan plan for Jerusalem" to the Greater Jerusalem Council - an ad hoc group that has no statutory role. The plan provides for the creation of a metropolitan area around Jerusalem, stretching from Sha'ar-Hagai in the west to Kfar Adumim in the east and from Beit-El (near Ramallah) in the north to Gush-Etzion in the south. The purpose of the plan was to increase sharply the Jewish population in that area in the coming decades while curbing Arab growth, which Mr. Drobles described as a "cancer around Jerusalem, threatening to strangle the capital, due to a growing influx of West-Bank villagers to empty areas which are State lands from Bir Zeit and Ramallah in the north to Bethlehem in the south." According toDrobles, some 100,000to 150,000Arabs had come in recent years to the area around Jerusalem, and 43 per cent of them had built houses without permits. (Jerusalem Post, Ha'aretz, 28,29 May 1984)

The inauguration was reported, on 30 May 1984, of the civilian settlement of Ma'aleh-Omarim, situated in the Hebron hills. It was previously called Teneh and was a Nahal outpost. (Jerusalem Post, 30 May 1984) The inauguration ceremony was reported, on 5 June 1984, of thenew settlement of Tel-Haim, south of Eilon-Moreh. The new settlement is located at precisely the same site of the first Eilon-Moreh, which was built by Gush-Emunim. (Ha'aretz, 5 June 1984)

The Ministerial Committee on Settlement decided, on 10 June 1984, to approve three new settlements in the West Bank: Eli-Shama-on the lands of the village of Haris which were purchased by the Land Redemption Fund of the West Bank settlements. The other two settlements are Neria and Ya'arit, to be built by private entrepreneurs. The Ministerial Committee decided to approve the creation of the two latter settlements but to delay their construction pending a decision by the Ministry of Justice's Civilian Department, headed by Mrs. Plia Albek, on the ownership of the land. The Committee also approved the creation of two new settlements on the Golan: Bin Kanaf and Daliot. (Ha'aretz, 11 June 1984)

A corner-stone was reportedly laid in a ceremony, starting work on the second stage of the settlement town of Alfe Mansheh, in the Nablus mountains. Five hundred separate housing units were completed in the first stage and 400 more were to be built immediately. The majority of the town inhabitants were reported to be regular army soldiers and members of Defence employees' families. (At Fajr, 22 June 1984)

A wave of new settlements and ceremonial inaugurations was reported in the weeks preceding the 23 July 1984 general , election in Israel. According to one report, some of these new settlements did not receive the settling authorities' approval, and most of them were described as "speedy operations," designed to establish facts on the ground. The following are some of these new settlements and their date of "settling on the ground" or inauguration:

8 July 1984 Some 20 settlers set up tents on the site of Neot-Adumim, between the Arab village of Gizariya and Maaleh-Adumim. The site had been approved by the settling bodies, but no budget had been found for the settlement. A group of settlers reportedly settled on the site of Abr-Yaacov, near the Arab village of Aqab, north of Neveh-Yaacov. A source in the Jewish Agency's Settlement Department reported that these two settlements were set up on the settlers' own initiative.

15 July 1984 A ceremony was held at Adam, 5 kms north-east of Neveh- Yaacov. Adam was to be peopled by former Jerusalem slum neighbourhood families. The same day, the joint Government and World Zionist Federation Settlement Committee approved the establishment of four more settlements in the West Bank and one on the eastern shore of Lake Tiberias (Sea of Galilee). The settlements approved by the Committee are: Avney-Hefetz (an urban settlement for 1,000 families, 5 kms east of Tulkarm); Nava (a communal settlement in Samaria); Selaim (a second suburb of the communal settlement of Ateret); Anar (a communal settlement in Samaria) and a fishermen's village in the Golan Heights, on thenorth-eastem shore of the Sea of Galilee.

16 July 1984) A ceremony was held at Givat Ehud, near Modi'in. At the siteof Asfar, 8 kms north-east of Hebron, Nahal soldiers handed over their outpost to a group of Yeshiva students.

A ceremony was held at Meitzad, in the Hebron hills.

18 July 1984) Yitzhar, a military outpost south of Mt. Berakha (southeast of Nablus) was turned into a civilian settlement.

19 July 1984 Hagai, a military outpost in Mount Ziv, south of Hebron, was turned into a civilian settlement.

22 July 1984 Three new settlements in the Gaza Strip were dedicated: Nissanit, Netzarim and Rafiah-Yam.

On the same day, the joint Government and Zionist Federation Committee approved the creation of three new ... Go to part 6

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