Settlement & Annexation Report: July 7, 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 7, 2022

1. Settlements & the Biden visit

2. Settlements/Annexation/Apartheid in the International Debate

3. Settler/IDF Violence

4. Ben & Jerry’s vs. Settlements

5. Masafer Yatta Ethnic Cleansing

6. Around the West Bank

7. Bonus Read

Settlements & the Biden Visit

Urgent: Illegal plan of at least 33 Israeli right-wing organizations to establish at least 10 new outposts in the West Bank on July 20 (Yesh Din, 7/7/22) [“This plan is being promoted by at least 33 Israeli right-wing movements and bodies, including regional and local municipalities in the West Bank. In preparation for this ‘operation’, Nachala has held multiple conferences,  as well as a number of surveying tours to scope out potential sites for the outposts. Potential sites include Wadi Kana, Uriyad (potentially to expand an existing outpost), lands belonging to the Palestinian village of Iskaka, Neve Beniya, Givat Ha’or and Ma’alot Halhul. Media reports indicate that over 1,000 settlers are involved in the establishment of these outposts. More recently, Nachala has launched campaigns inviting the public to participate in this operation. Although Israeli authorities are well aware of the plan, as far as we know, no actions have been taken to stop this operation, and thus to prevent its catastrophic consequences. Furthermore, no public condemnation nor call has been made to the public to refrain from this illegal activity….

29 US lawmakers urge Biden to prevent Israeli construction of “doomsday” settlements in W. Bank’s E1 (Quds Network 7/6/22)

Fate of E1 construction plan postponed as Israel gears up for Biden visit (Jewish News Syndicate 7/6/22)

B’Tselem Twitter thread 7/6/22 (reminding the world of 5/14/22 Haaretz article – How a Settlement Outpost Is Born) – excerpt: “The settlement movement is planning a major action, to take place 2 weeks from now: they say they’re going to set up *at least 10 unauthorized outposts* on the night of July 19-20th. These outposts will even be illegal by Israeli standards, not to mention int’l law. The idea of outposts is to create facts on the ground: to take land – often privately-owned Palestinian agricultural land – and build on it, fast, making it extremely difficult for the Israeli authorities (particularly when it’s a weak transitional gov’t) to evict them…Back to the plans for July 20th: we’re not talking about some secret, underground plan. This has been widely advertised & celebrated by the settler movement as a major event. There’s been a big conference about it, fundraising, scouting trips, banners placed all over the oPt etc. [images] And before someone jumps in to say “it’s just a fringe group of extremists! They don’t represent all settlers”—here’s the thing: this plan has the backing of all the major settler regional councils (which get State funding) as well as some of the biggest youth movements in Israel [image]…”]

Israel pushes off contentious E1 settlement project amid US pressure (Times of Israel 7/4/22) [“Israeli authorities on Monday announced that they had delayed a hearing to advance a controversial settlement project in an area of the West Bank that critics say is essential to a future Palestinian state. The session of the Civil Administration’s High Planning Subcommittee — the Defense Ministry body that authorizes settlement construction — was scheduled to take place on July 18, just four days after US President Joe Biden’s trip to Israel and the West Bank. The meeting, during which the panel will hear objections to a massive housing project on the swath of land known as E-1, has been rescheduled for September 12.”]Also see Tweet from FMEP’s Lara Friedman: “On same day they publicly absolved Israel of any accountability for killing an American citizen journalist, the Biden Admin can also celebrate convincing Israel to delay moving ahead with massive new settlement plan long enough to not create awkwardness in Biden visit.”

Settlements/Annexation/Apartheid in the International Debate

How Israel’s Campaign Against the ‘Apartheid’ Label Threatens Free Speech (DAWN 7/5/22)

US Presbyterian Church declares Israel to be ‘apartheid state’ (Middle East Monitor 7/4/22) Also see: Christian groups protest move by Presbyterian Church (USA) accusing Israel of apartheid (Jewish News Syndicate 7/6/22)

Israeli Apartheid: The power of the frame, the shame of the name (Mondoweiss 7/4/22)

Pastor wants to ‘convert the Church to love the Torah, Jews’ (Jerusalem Post 7/3/22) [“One of the main Bible prophecies is helping Jews return to the nation of Israel, so we started working with Keren Hayesod with projects such as making aliyah. We help settlements take over produce farms in the West Bank, which is Judea and Samaria.”]

NBC Corrects: Israeli Settlements Not on ‘Palestinian Territory’ (CAMERA 6/30/22) [“CAMERA’s Israel office this week prompted correction of an NBC article which erroneously cited “Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian territory” (“Netanyahu is again center stage as Israel heads towards elections,” June 22)…NBC agreed that a correction was in order, and subsequently amended the text to accurately refer to “Jewish settlements on disputed territory Palestinians hope will form part of a future state.” In addition, editors commendably appending the following clarification to the bottom of the article: “CLARIFICATION (June 29, 2022, 12:23 p.m. ET): This article has been changed to reflect that Jewish settlements are on disputed land that Palestinians hope will form part of a future state.”]

Settler/IDF Violence

Settlers assault Palestinian family south of Hebron (WAFA 7/7/22)

Israel Police Downgrade Suspicions Against Settler Arrested for Killing Palestinian (Haaretz 7/5/22)

Israel settlers, police attack Sheikh Jarrah protest (Middle East Monitor 7/2/22)

Palestinian elderly brutally assaulted by Israeli settlers near Tulkarm (WAFA 7/3/22)

Ben & Jerry’s vs. Settlements

Ben & Jerry’s sues parent company in bid to block deal allowing sales in settlements (Times of Israel 7/6/22)

Ben & Jerry’s Clashes With Unilever Over BDS (Jewish Currents 7/5/22)

Yair Lapid’s ‘Antisemitic’ Zigzag (Haaretz 7/3/22) [“…what is being sold to us as an Israeli victory over the boycott movement is actually a compromise between Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s, according to which the original American brand will be severed from the Israeli company that markets the ice cream, so that it doesn’t mention Unilever anymore. The local version will no longer carry the brand name in English. This spectacular Israeli victory means that in the name of defending the settlements, the original brand has been withdrawn from the entire country.”]

Ben & Jerry’s criticises resumption of sales in Israeli settlements (BBC 7/1/22)

Masafer Yatta Ethnic Cleansing

After visiting communities in Masafer Yatta, diplomats say forced displacement violates international law (WAFA 7/7/22)

Tweet from Basel al-Adra 7/6/22: “I wake up, go outside, and see this newly painted sign near my home: ‘Firing zone! Entrance Forbidden!’ Israel’s insane plan to evict thousands of us from Masafer Yatta and make our towns a firing zone is happening on the ground, funded by USA & Europe. It’s like we’re air.”

Fact sheet: Masafer Yatta communities at risk of forcible transfer (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 7/6/22)

Israel expelled my father from Masafer Yatta 20 years ago. Now it’s happening again (+972 Magazine 7/4/22) [“More than two decades have passed since my father was first kicked out of his home. Now that the Supreme Court approved his second expulsion, I spoke to him about how the decision fits into our family’s story of resistance.”]

Israeli occupation forces raid Masafer Yatta community, demolish a residence displacing 15 people (WAFA 7/4/22) — for video, see Tweet from Basel Al Adra 7/4/22

Israeli troops crackdown on anti-expulsion rally in Masafer Yatta, dozens injured (WAFA 7/1/22)

Sami Huraini: ‘Israeli detention won’t stop my resistance!’ (Stop the Wall, 6/29/22)

Around the West Bank

(JORDAN VALLEY) Israel orders halt on house construction south of Tubas (WAFA 7/7/22)

(HEBRON) Israeli forces bulldoze agricultural land, destroy olive trees in Hebron-area village

(WAFA 7/5/22)

(NABLUS) In its efforts to keep Palestinian water resources under its control, Israel destroys water spring pipelines (WAFA 7/5/22]

(RAMALLAH) Israeli occupation forces raze several dunums of privately-owned Palestinian land near Ramallah (WAFA 7/5/22) Also see Tweet from B’Tselem’s Sarit Michaeli: “The Israeli army cut down Palestinian owned olive trees in the village Ni’lin. Seems that the military-colonial complex will not rest until it alleviates Palestinians of all their property” [linked to photos]

(JERUSALEM) Palestinian-owned house, nursery demolished by Israeli bulldozers in occupied Jerusalem (WAFA 7/4/22)

(HEBRON) Israeli forces issue halt-on-construction orders for two homes near Hebron (WAFA 7/3/22)

(JERICHO) Israeli actions threaten historic spring near Jericho (Al-Monitor 7/3/22)

Israeli forces seize farming equipment, machinery from Jericho-district village (WAFA 7/1/22)

(HEBRON) Israeli settlers destroy hundreds of saplings north of Hebron (WAFA 6/30/22)

(BETHLEHEM) Settlers set lands on fire west of Bethlehem (WAFA 6/30/22)

Israeli forces deliver stop-construction notices against two houses, shed south of Hebron (WAFA 6/30/22)

Bonus Read

Protection of Civilians Report | 14-27 June 2022 (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 7/2/22)

“...On 21 June, an Israeli settler stabbed and killed a 28-year-old Palestinian man in Iskaka village (Salfit). A clash erupted between Palestinians and settlers who were setting up tents to take over Palestinian-owned land near the Israeli settlement of Ariel, during which a settler stabbed the man in his chest. Israeli forces prevented Palestinians from providing medical aid or approaching the victim for about thirty minutes. The Israeli Police launched an investigation and arrested a suspect the following day.”…

Overall, 195 Palestinians, including ten children, were injured by Israeli forces across the West Bank. Some 75 injuries were recorded near Beita and Beit Dajan (both in Nablus) and Kisan (Bethlehem), in demonstrations against settlement expansion and 30 injuries were recorded during a during a tree-planting event in Burin (Nablus). In another three incidents, in Qaryut and Huwwara (both in Nablus), and in Ras at Tin (Ramallah), 64 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces after Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian communities accompanied by Israeli forces, triggering confrontations with residents. Another 23 Palestinians were injured during seven search-and-arrest operations in Jenin, Jericho, Tulkarm, Qalqiliya, Bethlehem and Ramallah. A further three Palestinians, including one child, were injured in three separate incidents near a checkpoint between the H1 and H2 areas in Hebron city, at a flying checkpoint Khirbet al Majaz in southern Hebron, and near the barrier in Far’un (Tulkarm). Of all the Palestinian injuries, 14 were from live ammunition, and 13 from rubber bullets; most of the remainder were treated for inhaling teargas.

The Israeli authorities demolished, confiscated or forced people to demolish 39 Palestinian-owned structures in East Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank, citing the lack of Israeli-issued building permits; nine of the structures had been provided as donor-funded humanitarian aid. As a result, 12 people, including six children, were displaced, and the livelihoods of about 225 others were affected. Some 36 of the targeted structures were in Area C, including 19 structures in Ibziq area which is designated as a ‘firing zone’ for military training, and where Palestinian communities are at risk of forcible transfer. Three structures were demolished in East Jerusalem, including one home destroyed by its owners to avoid paying fines.

On four occasions, Israeli forces conducted military training exercises near the 13 Palestinian herding communities of Masser Yatta in southern Hebron. This area has been designated by the Israeli authorities as a ‘firing zone’ and closed for Israeli military training. The training is expected to continue intermittently for a month, restricting the access of Palestinians to basic services and sources of food, and possibly risking their safety, as use of live fire and explosions was reported on two occasions. On 4 May, the Israeli High Court of Justice approved the eviction of Palestinians living in Massafer Yatta, putting 1,144 people, including 569 children, at imminent risk of forcible transfer. On 23 June, the Humanitarian Coordinator a.i., called for a halt to demolitions, military activities and other increasingly coercive measures, so that residents can remain in their homes in safety and dignity.

Israeli forces restricted the movement of Palestinians in several locations across the West Bank. Since 10 June, Israeli forces have blocked and closed the main gate installed at the main entrance to the village of Abud (Ramallah), disrupting the access of about 2,400 Palestinians to livelihoods and services and forcing long detours; this closure is presumably linked to Palestinian stone-throwing at Israeli settler vehicles. On four other occasions, Israeli forces blocked the main entrance to Al Jalazun refugee camp (Ramallah), disturbing the access of about 9,000 Palestinians to livelihoods and services, forcing long detours; subsequently, Israeli forces shot teargas canisters at residents who threw stones; in one of the incidents a teargas canister landed inside a balcony, causing a fire to break out in the house…

Israeli settlers injured 18 Palestinians, and people known or believed to be Israeli settlers damaged Palestinian property in eleven instances. In five incidents in Turmus’ayya, Ras at Tin and Al Mu’arrajat East (all in Ramallah), in Burqa (Nablus) and in the H2 area of Hebron city, Israeli settlers, attacked Palestinian farmers while the latter were working on their lands; settlers used sticks, batons, and metal bars, and threw stones, injuring twelve Palestinians, including one child. On 15 June, Israeli settlers physically assaulted and pepper-sprayed family members sitting in a car that stopped in an Israeli flying checkpoint near Duma (Nablus); three of them were injured, including a two-month-old baby. The following day, dozens of Israelis, including settlers physically assaulted and stabbed two Palestinian men while they were working in an Israeli settlement in East Jerusalem. In an additional incident near Deir Sharaf (Nablus), a group of Israeli settlers physically assaulted a group of Palestinian residents, injuring one man. In six incidents, about 160 Palestinian-owned trees were uprooted or vandalized near Israeli settlements next to Qaryut and Burin (both in Nablus), Palestinian-owned cars and a tractor were vandalized, and stone-throwing was reported, causing damage to two Palestinians homes and shops. Another five incidents, in Nablus, Jenin and Ramallah, included settlers breaking into a house and farmland, damaging a water facility, and vandalizing at least ten vehicles, as well as cultivated crops.

People known or believed to be Palestinians injured two Israelis and damaged multiple Israeli vehicles. Two Israeli settlers were injured by stone-throwing at vehicles while traveling on West Bank roads in Hebron and Jerusalem governorates. Israeli-platted vehicles were damaged by stones or Molotov cocktails thrown at them in seven other incidents.”