Settlement & Annexation Report: July 21, 2022


Welcome to FMEP’s Weekly Settlement Report, covering everything you need to know about Israeli settlement activity this week.

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**The regular FMEP Settlement & Annexation report is on break, and is planned to return around the first week of August. In the meantime, we are pleased to offer you links to the main settlement-related stories of the past week**

July 21, 2022

1. Settlers Announce, Fundraise for, & Carry Out Plans to Break Israeli Law

2. Masafer Yatta

3. Around the West Bank

4. Grab Bag

5. EU Sounds the Alarm Re: Settlements

6. Bonus Read

Settlers Announce, Fundraise for, & Carry Out Plans to Break Israeli Law

The Settlers Trumpeted Their Plans [also see coverage in past editions of FMEP’s Settlement & Annexation Report]

  • How a Jewish Settler Group Raised Millions to Set Up Illegal Outposts (Haaretz 7/21/22) [“The Nachala settler organization announced that it would set up three West Bank outposts on Wednesday. Even though this is illegal, it raised five million shekels for the operation in three days through affiliated groups, a money transfer app and a Chabad crowdfunding platform”]

The Israeli Government Responded Weakly & Too Late

The Settlers Did **Exactly What They Said They Would Do**

The Aftermath: Land Grab, Palestinians’ Fears, Politicians’ Praise

Masafer Yatta

Around the West Bank

Grab Bag

EU Sounds the Alarm re: Settlements


In comparison to the previous year, 2021 experienced an even higher rate of settlement units advancements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem (22,030), enforcing the trend of a continuously increasing settlement expansion on occupied Palestinian territories. Adding to the exponentially high figures in 2021 were particularly the advancement of settlement units in occupied East Jerusalem, which more than doubled compared to the previous year, from 6,288 housing units to 14,894. 

This trend of deepening settlement projects through plans and tenders occurred despite the announcement by the new Israeli government, which started its tenure on 13 June 2021, that it would be committed to a status quo when it comes to occupation-related matters.

The advancement, in 2021, in particular of three settlements – E1, Atarot and Lower Aqueduct – is a serious cause of concern. The settlements, if constructed, would disconnect East Jerusalemites from major West Bank urban areas, such as Hebron and Ramallah, and would thus have serious implications on Palestinian urban continuity and pose a serious threat to a viable two-state solution. 

Other trends and developments contributing to settlement expansion in the reporting period included advancements of infrastructure and road projects as well as the establishment of new illegal so called outpost farms. The rise in settlement expansion plans by the Israeli authorities was also accompanied by a worrisome trend of rising settler violence in the oPt. 

As outlined in several statements by the EEAS Spokesperson on new settlements announcements in 2021, the EU has repeatedly called on Israel to end all settlement activity, and to dismantle outposts erected since March 2001. It remains the EU’s firm position that settlements are illegal under international law. Israel’s decision to advance plans for the approval and construction of almost new settlement units in 2021, i.a. for Givat Hamatos and  Har Homa,  further undermines the prospects of a viable two-state solution.

Bonus Read

End-of-Mission Statement of the UN Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices (UN Human Rights Council 7/15/22)

Settlement-related excerpts:

“The Special Committee’s visit took place in the context of increasing settler violence and Israeli security force violence against Palestinians, arbitrary arrests and detention, and restrictions on the freedom of expression and movement, as well as a deepening culture of impunity. The Special Committee was briefed that in the first half of 2022, Israeli forces killed 60 Palestinians in the West Bank in the context of law enforcement operations, compared to 41 in the same period in 2021. Israel continues to hold the bodies of 325 Palestinians, denying families burials and closure. Settler violence has continued to increase at an alarming rate. 575 incidents of settler violence resulting in Palestinian deaths, injury and/or property damage were reported between 1 June 2021 and 31 May 2022, compared to 430 in the previous year. Perpetrators are very rarely held accountable. Gross violations of Palestinian human rights, including the right to self-determination, are the result of discriminatory and systematic policies and practices negatively impacting almost every aspect of Palestinian life.”

“Illegal Israeli settlements have also continued to expand, resulting in demolitions of Palestinian-owned structures and displacement of the Palestinian residents, notwithstanding UN Security Council resolution 2334 condemning such practices. The Special Committee was informed that Israel has established or allowed the establishment of 279 settlements, outposts or satellite neighbourhoods in the West Bank, facilitating settlement population growth to approximately 700,000. Israeli and international settler organisations actively promote settlements and recruit prospective settlers, and are offered tax incentives. New settlement housing units continue to proliferate, and in May 2022, Israeli authorities advanced plans for the construction of more than 4,000 settlement housing units in Area C. The expansion of settlements has resulted in a commensurate increase in the demolition of Palestinian structures. The Special Committee was briefed that since the beginning of 2022, 387 Palestinian structures, including 68 donor-funded structures, were demolished, displacing 496 Palestinians. Only five percent of construction plans submitted by Palestinians in Area C are reportedly approved by the Israeli authorities. The Special Committee was also informed that in addition to settlement housing units, private land owned by Palestinians is often seized for the purpose of building infrastructure, such as roads, highways and walls, to connect settlements, or creating natural reserves or national parks. As reiterated by the Secretary-General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Security Council and other UN bodies, settlement activities are a flagrant violation of international law and must immediately cease.”