Israeli Government Approves Nine Illegal Israeli Colonies on Palestinian Land

12:00 Feb 12 2023 Israeli settlements & outposts: Avigayil (אֲבִיגַיִל), Beit Hogla, Givat Harel (גבעת הראל), Givat Ha-Roeh, Gival Arnon, Mitzpe Yehuda, Malchai HaShalom, Asa-El (עשהאל), Sde Boaz ( שדה בועז) & Shaharit

Illegal Settlement. File? Published by IMEMC News

by IMEMC News
Feb 13, 2023

On Sunday, the Israeli government approved the ‘legalization’ of nine additional Jewish-only colonies on illegally-seized Palestinian land in the West Bank.
The colonies have been dubbed by the occupiers as Avigayil, Beit Hogla, Givat Harel, Givat Ha-Roeh, Givat Arnon, Mitzpe Yehuda, Malchai HaShalom, Asa-el, Sde Boaz, and Shaharit. Previously, these outposts –consisting of land taken by force from Palestinian landowners by Jewish paramilitary gangs — were considered illegal even under Israeli law.
According to international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention, all Israeli settler colonies are illegal and should be dismantled.
Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich both claimed responsibility for the approval of these colonies. They had initially sought Israeli cabinet approval for 77 illegal settler outposts.

Although the officials claimed that the move was in response to what they called a “vehicular attack” by a Palestinian on Friday. This alleged vehicular attack was a dubious claim, given that eyewitnesses said that it was a car accident, but armed Israelis then shot the driver when they identified him as an Arab.

Nevertheless, Ben-Gvir and Smotrich used it as an excuse to push forward their already-written and prepared plan to ‘legalize’ dozens of illegal Israeli outposts on stolen Palestinian land in the West Bank.

Ben-Gvir, the head of the ultranationalist Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) party, stated, “It is not enough and we want more, but it is an important start.” He added, “The training of the settlements will join the extensive police activity in East Jerusalem, and another series of measures to deter terrorism”.

Since Israel was created on the land of historic Palestine in 1948, the government of Israel has never declared its borders, and has continually expanded and encroached further and further onto Palestinian land – with utter impunity and no repercussions from the international community.

In 2022, the Israeli occupation authorities legalized the Mitzpe Dani settlement outpost built east of Ramallah in the West Bank.

Mitzpe Dani settlement outpost was built in 1999 during the first term of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. After it was built illegally, hundreds of dunums of land were declared closed areas, banning their owners from reaching them.

Dozens of Israeli outposts were established with the aim of displacing the Bedouin communities in these areas and seizing thousands of dunums of land that the occupying governments could not confiscate by military orders, while increasing the number of settlers in the Ma’ale Mikhmas, Rimonim, Kochav Hashahar and Kochav Yaakov bloc to 60,000 settlers, which are among the closest settlements to Jerusalem, located to the north and the north-east of Jerusalem.

The settlement expansion is part of the Israeli “E1 Jerusalem Plan”, which was laid out by the Israeli government 10 years ago to encircle the east of Jerusalem with a ring of colonies, then expand both inward and outward, in order to displace the Palestinians that have lived in East Jerusalem for thousands of years.

Under international law, all Israeli settlements are illegal.

As CommonDreams notes, “Both Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the International Criminal Court Rome Statute prohibit settlement activity. According to Article 8(2) of the Rome Statute, ‘the transfer, directly or indirectly, by an occupying power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory’ are unlawful. In 2021, United Nations Palestine expert Michael Lynk said Israeli settlements should be classified as war crimes under the Rome Statute.

“From 1978 until 2019, the United States State Department also considered Israeli settlements unlawful.”

“According to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, more than 620,000 Jews currently reside in around 140 settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. While Israel grants every Jew in the world the right to settle in Israel, it has—against U.N. resolutions and international law—refused to allow the approximately five million Palestinian refugees alive today to return to their homeland.”

Israeli outpost in Occupied Palestinian Territories (oPT) declared legal by Israeli government 2/12/2023
Israeli outpost in Occupied Palestinian Territories (oPT) declared legal by Israeli government 2/12/2023
Israeli settlement in Occupied Palestinian Territories (oPT) declared legal by Israeli government 2/12/2023
Israeli settlement in Occupied Palestinian Territories (oPT) declared legal by Israeli government 2/12/2023
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