The National Bureau for Land Defense and Settlement Resistance monitored the approval of the Israeli government last week to allocate 14 million shekels to complete plans that would allow work to begin on the road called "Sovereignty Road", as part of the construction plan in the settlement project known as (E1) east of Jerusalem.

The office indicated in its weekly report, which monitors all the Israeli violations, that this approval came during a meeting held with the participation of the Israeli Prime Minister the settlement of “Mishor Adumim”, with all the consequence of separating “Ma'ale Adumim” from the Palestinian space by the wall. Therefore, there will be no need for the checkpoint currently at the Zaim checkpoint. Thus, the checkpoint will move east so that the settlers of "Ma'ale Adumim" will not have to pass through it on their way to Jerusalem, and at the same time the Palestinians will not be able to reach Al-Eizariya from its northern entrance at the aforementioned settlement roundabout.
And all this comes in light of the heading for a fourth Knesset election, where the (Netanyahu) campaign uses the election period to promote a plan that would eliminate the possibility of a two-state solution. The planned path simply means dismembering the West Bank, opening the way for construction in the E1 area and closing the door to the possibility of establishing Palestinian state.

The National Office explained that this project, which was approved by the former Israeli Defense Minister, "Naftali Bennett" in March of last year and named "the path to sovereignty," is a crucial step to separate the southern West Bank from its center on the one hand, and to unleash settlement in the area named (E1). On the other hand, with the completion of the new road route along the populated areas north of the town of Al-Eizariya, east of Jerusalem, the Palestinians will find themselves forced to follow it, and they will not be able to use the road (No. 1) that connects the south of the West Bank with its center and the north. In addition, this road paves the way to isolate the area named (E1) and creates a physical connection between the settlement of "Maale Adumim" in the east and the city of Jerusalem in the west, so that movement between the two settlements will be via two vital roads, one of which connects the settlement to Jericho and the Jordan Valley, and the other connects it to Jerusalem at a distance of a few kilometers to the west.

An apartheid state

In the context, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories (B'Tselem), in a document published recently, described Israel as an apartheid state. The document says that the Israeli regime has divided the lands extending between the river and the sea into different units that are distinguished from each other in the way it controls them and defines the rights of their Palestinian residents. This division is related to the Palestinians only, and thus the continuous geographical space for the Jews is for the Palestinians a mosaic space made up of different pieces. According to the document, Israel assigns to residents in each of these isolated units a package of rights that differs from those allocated to residents of other units, all of which are deficient compared to the package of rights granted to Jewish citizens. Similarly, in all regions, this includes restricting immigration to non-Jews, and seizing Palestinian lands, in order to build towns for Jews only, and in parallel, establishing Palestinian ghettos on narrow areas. As for the other two methods, they are applied in particular in the occupied territories, and this includes severe restrictions on the freedom of movement and movement of non-citizen Palestinians, and the deprivation of millions of Palestinians of political rights.

According to B'Tselem, there are today more than 280 settlements and settlement outposts throughout the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) in which more than 600,000 Jewish settlers reside. The state plundered other lands from the Palestinians in order to open hundreds of kilometers of bypass roads designated for settlers. In the West Bank, Israel also controls all the roads connecting the Palestinian ghettos, and this control allows the army to set up checkpoints whenever it wants, block the entrances to villages, close the streets and prevent movement at checkpoints, as well as the separation wall inside the West Bank where the Palestinian lands east of the wall are known. (The Seam Zone), including agricultural land, access to it for Palestinians has been restricted and their movement is subject to a system of permits.

Telal Youth Organization

On the other hand, the Israeli government employs the terrorist organization "hilltop youth" to harm the rights of the Palestinians, as the extreme right-wing movement leads all the operations of settlers in the West Bank, which affect Palestinians by destroying and sabotaging their agricultural lands, or by attacking their homes, throwing stones at their vehicles, and sabotaging them. Since the death of a settler after being pursued by the Israeli police, this movement has been organizing rallies every Saturday in Jerusalem to demand accountability for the Israeli police, as these demonstrations witness violence and arrests in their ranks before they are released again despite their attacking the police and describing them as "neo-Nazis." Official Israeli data showed that there has been a noticeable increase in violent incidents committed by settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank, as official data of the Israeli Defense Ministry show that last December 2020 witnessed the most violent increase in attacks against Palestinians by settlers since 2017. There is no doubt that the outposts have a clear role in controlling Palestinian land in the West Bank, and the Israeli security logic helped create the presence of armed settlers alongside isolated settlements.

Settlement activity accelerates

In the settlement activities of the occupation, the National Bureau monitored the acceleration of steps noticeably in the period leading up to the inauguration of the elected US President (Joe Biden). In Jerusalem, which includes the construction of 500 settlement units in the settlements of "Itamar" east of Nablus, "Beit El" north of Ramallah, "Shafi Shomron" west of Nablus, "Oranit" near Qalqilya, and "Pisgat Zeev" north of Jerusalem, and the approval will also take place About 250 settlement units have been built in a settlement outpost called “Novi Nkhamia,” and it is also being talked about approving the construction of about 100 settlement units in “Tal Menashe” settlement, west of Jenin, which killed a settlement near it weeks ago. The Israeli prime minister's statement confirmed that "Netanyahu" ordered the lifting of a plan to build about 400 additional housing units in "Beit El", "Aviatar", "Shavei Shomron", "Shekhonat Havatikim" and the industrial zone "Barkan" and "Karni Shomron".

Establishing two diplomatic complexes in Jerusalem

Moreover, under pressure from the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office, and before Joe Biden entered the White House, a special committee from the Jerusalem municipality approved plans to establish two diplomatic complexes, one of which aims to expand the headquarters of the US embassy in the city. It has also been decided to expand the current building of the US embassy in Arnona with an area of   50,000 square meters, while a diplomatic complex for several embassies and an annex to the US embassy will be organized on Allenby Street on an area of   60,000 square meters. The diplomatic complex includes buildings, offices and housing for employees and security guards. The mayor of the occupation in Jerusalem, Moshe Lion, said, "This is a historic and exciting moment that is taking place against the background of the political change that we are witnessing these days with the blessed peace agreements."

A call center to receive whistleblowers against the Palestinians

In a move indicating abhorrent racism, the Civil Administration opened a call center to receive information about unauthorized construction in the West Bank, on the site of the "Kochav Yaqoub" settlement to receive whistleblowing against the Palestinians. Last week, the settlement website published an advertisement in the form of a question to the Civil Administration issued by the new center called (Operations Room C) saying: Have you seen construction works of Palestinians that seemed to you suspicious and unauthorized? Have you seen a health abuse against Palestinians who disregard the law? From now on, you have a small client of you. They went at all hours of the day, in every way possible, and lodged a complaint about them. Every day, we compile a total of complaints and display what was checked and what was confiscated in case of abnormal behavior. We wish you success. This operations room was established in November 2020, and it is one of the ploys that settler gangs invented, specifically the (Raghavim) settlement association, in order to expel the Palestinians and control their lands.

The US ambassador

In a different context, the American settler ambassador "Friedman", who is about to end his duties, continued to support the occupation government, this time by advising the occupation government not to agree to reopening the US consulate in Palestine in Jerusalem. This came during a closed briefing he gave to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee, early last week, in which he expressed his strong opposition to the reopening of the Consulate General of the United States in Jerusalem, which provides services to the Palestinians. The American President-elect, Joe Biden, had confirmed during his election campaign that he would reopen The consulate that served as the US diplomatic mission to the Palestinian Authority. Friedman considered that the reopening of the Biden administration of the consulate would raise the level of US diplomatic representation at the Palestinian Authority, and would be a symbolic signal that the US administration recognizes the Palestinian claim to parts of Jerusalem, as he put it.