(photo: illegal settlement of Ofra, north of Ramallah Source:. Reuters)

By: Madeeha Araj/ NBPRS/PNN

The Palestine Liberation Organization’s National Bureau for the Defense of Land and Resisting Settlements said in his latest report that the Israeli government is continuing its Judaization policy in Jerusalem and Hebron and continues to provide more grants for settlement outposts

The weekly report issued by the bureau  continued , that the silent ethnic cleansing policy, has approved by the Israeli Knesset last week in the second and third readings an amendment to the so-called “Entry into Israel” law, in accordance with a proposal presented by the government, and Likud MK, Amir Ohana, which allows the Israeli Interior Minister to withdraw or revoke the status of “permanent resident” due to lack of loyalty. The amendment specifically targets the Palestinian Jerusalemites and the West Bank citizens, who have married Palestinian women living inside the Green Line, exploiting the US president’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel, and to transfer US  embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem upcoming May. The Israeli “Peace Now” movement has recently uncovered 4 settlement schemes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, some of which include the evacuation of some Jerusalemites. According to the organization, 2 schemes include the demolition of the 5 Palestinian families’ houses, and the construction of 3 settlement units, and another to demolish 4 Palestinian families’ houses and to build 10 settlement units.

As for the cooperation between the Occupation Ministry of Justice and the Settlement Organizations, a new officer, Hananel Gurfinkel was appointed for the “East Jerusalem File” as “Public Trustee,” who explicitly calls for the expulsion of Arab students studying in the “Takhnon” to Gaza. He had set up an association working to prevent what he called “foreign entities from controlling state property in East Jerusalem.” It is noted that, Gorenfikel lives in a Jewish settlement at the Jabal Mukaber. He is responsible for a series of evictions of Palestinian families and handing over their homes to right-wing settlement groups. He was also responsible for the displacement of Palestinian families as he was  the manager of property that was under Jewish property until 1948. The majority of the properties that were abandoned in 1948 were Palestinian, but they can’t get it back , in contrast, the Israeli law allows the Jews to posses the property. The “General Trustee” supports the efforts of the Ateret Cohanim Association in Silwan, which controls the Benbenci Waqf, under the pretext of being established 120 years ago. Other attempts to expel some 60 Palestinian families from the area to build a Jewish neighborhood is still there.

In 2016, Gorenfikel established association named it “Bonneh Yerushalayim,” at the Neve Tzion settlement in the Jabal Mukaber and registered it in the name of his wife. its goals are to encourage settlement construction in East Jerusalem and provide public spaces in Neve Tzion. As the AIPAC Conference started in Washington last week, the Israeli the Ministry of Strategic Affairs held a conference in support of the settlements hedd by Minister, Gilad Arad. The ministry called for “embracing the Judea and Samaria. Moreover, “the Elad Settlement Association revealed 11 new settlement projects that were approved in 2017 and 2018 to be implemented soon by various companies. Among the projects is a huge tourism project called “Omega Skiing”, and a restaurant near the historic walls of the occupied Jerusalem.

On the other hand, the settlement council “Matte Binyamin” spent about NIS 6,460,000.  In 2013 – 2015, it got NIS 50,000,000 and other NIS 40,000,000 through the Ministry of the Interior to be used in illegal projects. Some of those funds were invested in large settlement outposts close to “Eli” settlement, and that at least 10 of the 24 council’s projects were randomly set up in outposts that in violation of the Israeli law.

The policy of Judaization and silent ethnic cleansing was not limited to Jerusalem, but also extended to the Hebron city. In a new report issued by the OCHA, showed that the area known as H2 has been transformed into a “ghost town.” Worth mentioning here that the area was overcrowded and prosperous in the past, and that there are fears of displacing its 40,ooo people in favor of 100s settlers, who live in several outposts. The report also tackled the amount of humanitarian and material damages suffered by the Palestinians. The report stresses that the policies and practices carried out by the occupation authorities under “security pretext” have affected the lives of Palestinians, where they are harassed by settlers and scrutinized at military checkpoints.

Furthermore, Israeli study conducted by the left-wing Kerem Navot, showed that 40% of settler graves were built on private Palestinian land in the West Bank. The study revealed that there are more than 600 graves in more than 10 settlements built on private Palestinian land.. According to the study, there are also about 33 Jewish cemeteries scattered throughout the settlements, some of them are small and some others are big. Most of them are built on private Palestinian land near the settlements of Beit El, Ofra, Psagot, Ma’aleh Mishmash, Alon Moreh and Kiryat Arba, where the tomb of Baruch Goldstein, who carried out the Ibrahimi Mosque’s massacre.

In a campaign called “embrace the bear, the occupation army recently began to collect information from Palestinians throughout the West Bank’s checkpoints, The army command asked the soldiers to erect the checkpoints, especially during the early hours of the morning, and to force the Palestinians to prepare security forms to find out where they work, where they live and other details, as well as a picture of their personal identity.