Systematic displacement of Palestinians What does imposing the "Smotrich Plan" on the West Bank mean? Systematic displacement of Palestinians What does imposing the "Smotrich Plan" on the West Bank mean?

Systematic displacement of Palestinians What does imposing the "Smotrich Plan" on the West Bank mean?

Systematic displacement of Palestinians What does imposing the "Smotrich Plan" on the West Bank mean?

The Israeli Broadcasting Authority announced last Friday that the security cabinet had approved Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich's plan, which includes "legalizing 5 settlement outposts in the West Bank and issuing decisions to build thousands of housing units in the settlements."

The plan also includes "restricting movement and preventing senior officials from leaving the country, and punishing them for committing incitement offenses," and it also includes withdrawing executive powers from the authority in the southern West Bank, and applying Israeli construction law in Area B, which is under Palestinian civil and administrative control.

These decisions aim to confront the recognition of the State of Palestine and the measures taken against Israel in international courts, according to the official broadcasting authority.

Systematic displacement

In 1995, the Oslo II Agreement divided the occupied West Bank into 3 areas: “A” which is estimated at about 21% of the total area of ​​the West Bank, and is supposed to be under full Palestinian control, but Israel invaded it during the Al-Aqsa Intifada that erupted in 2000.

The second area, “B,” is controlled by Israel in terms of security, but is civilly and administratively under the Palestinian Authority, and amounts to about 18% of the West Bank’s area, while Area “C” is subject to complete Israeli control, civilly, administratively, and security-wise, and is estimated at about 61%, and Palestinians are prohibited from making any changes or building there except with an official permit from the Israeli occupation.

The previous classifications are distributed throughout the West Bank, in a scattered manner, and the lands of each region are not geographically connected to each other.

Palestinian analysts considered the Israeli government's approval of Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich's plan to impose construction laws on the southern occupied West Bank as a continuation of the approach of displacement against the Palestinians.

Political analyst Ashraf Badr says that enforcing Israeli law on Area B means withdrawing and weakening the authority’s powers, and effectively cancelling the administrative divisions in the Oslo Accords between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel.

Badr told Anadolu Agency that this plan “has been adopted by the Religious Zionism Party since 2017, and its goal is to resolve the conflict, not manage it.” He explained that “the extremist Israeli government seeks to eliminate any hope among the Palestinians of forming a Palestinian entity, which might be viewed by Israelis as a threat to the Zionist project, because it might develop into a demand for independence, a national identity, or the realization of a national or political self.”

The spokesman pointed out the danger surrounding Area C, as annexing it is an ambition of the religious nationalist movement within a plan announced in 2014, which includes granting blue IDs (permanent Israeli residency permits) to its residents, as happened when the city of Jerusalem was occupied in 1980.

The population of Area C, according to Israeli estimates, is 50,000, and about 250,000 according to Palestinian data. Badr confirms that the Israeli occupation will treat them like the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, within the context of dominating the land and its agricultural and water resources.

As for Area A, the political analyst says, “The Israeli side is not interested in the lands of this area, but rather wants to get rid of the administration of its residents to some party, such as local, tribal, municipal, or any body below the level of a political entity.”

He added that although it was not included in Smotrich's draft plan, the area "is not immune," noting that demolitions continue there "of the homes of Palestinians accused of carrying out operations against the occupation."

Houses threatened with demolition

In turn, the writer specializing in Israeli affairs, Hani Abu Saba’, says that the Palestinian Authority cannot grant building permits in Area C, and if it does, they are worthless, and today the matter extends to Area B.

He added to Anadolu Agency that the purpose of enforcing the law on archaeological sites is "to demolish any Palestinian building in the vicinity of those sites, which may be ancient buildings, graves, or Islamic landmarks."

Abu Saba’ points out that Israeli archaeological authorities classified these sites and added them as an annex to the Oslo Accords, warning that the current Israeli government “will demolish every building that affects the archaeological areas, even if it is licensed by the Palestinian Authority, as part of a plan to displace the residents of the West Bank.”

For his part, the head of the Wall and Settlement Authority office in Bethlehem, Hassan Breijieh, pointed out that buildings were targeted in an area classified as a nature reserve, part of which is located on Bethlehem lands, and its area is estimated at hundreds of square kilometers.

Brijia added to Anadolu Agency that "due to the scarcity of land, the reserve has witnessed extensive construction by Palestinians from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. It is currently inhabited by hundreds, and has dozens of homes, and there are fears of their demolition."

Widespread attacks

The Israeli occupation army carried out 194 demolition operations in the occupied West Bank during the first five months of this year, affecting 254 Palestinian facilities, most of which were homes, according to monthly reports by the Wall and Settlement Resistance Commission.

Last year, the Authority’s annual report stated that the Israeli occupation army demolished 659 Palestinian facilities, including about 300 inhabited homes, in addition to displacing 25 Palestinian residential communities that were inhabited by 266 families, numbering 1,517 people, who were forced to emigrate due to attacks by the occupation army and settlers.

In conjunction with its devastating war on Gaza since October 7, the Israeli army has expanded its incursions and operations in the West Bank, leaving 556 Palestinian martyrs, including 133 children, as of yesterday, Monday, in addition to about 5,300 wounded, and about 9,465 prisoners, according to official Palestinian sources.

Israel waged a war on Gaza, leaving nearly 125,000 Palestinian martyrs and wounded, most of them children and women, and more than 10,000 missing amid massive destruction and famine that claimed the lives of dozens of children.

Israel continues its war despite two UN Security Council resolutions calling for an immediate halt, and orders from the International Court of Justice to end the invasion of the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, take measures to prevent acts of "genocide", and improve the dire humanitarian situation in the Strip.


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