Settlement & Annexation Report: June 30, 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**

June 30, 2022

1. Settlements & the Biden visit

2. Settlements/Annexation/Apartheid at the Center of Domestic Israeli Politics

3. Settler/IDF Violence

4. Ben & Jerry’s vs. Settlements

5. Masafer Yatta Ethnic Cleansing

6. Around the West Bank

7. Jerusalem & Its Environs

8. Bonus reads

Settlements & the Biden Visit

Israeli settlers are acting in advance of Biden’s visit and another election (Middle East Eye 6/28/22)

Old City hotelier facing eviction: ‘Biden, give Christians 10 minutes of your visit’ (Times of Israel 6/27/22)

Israeli settlement plan in West Bank stirs tensions ahead of Biden trip (Al-Monitor 6/24/22)

Settlements/Annexation/Apartheid at the Center of Domestic Israeli Politics

How the Bennett-Lapid Government Ruled Over the West Bank (Haaretz 6/26/22) [“The presence of left-wing parties in the coalition did little to hinder the ‘change government’ from continuing construction in the West Bank and destroying Palestinian residences”]

How threats of a second Nakba went mainstream (+972 Magazine 6/23/22)

Settler/IDF Violence

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

Settlers throw stones at Palestinian’s home; security forces then arrest and abuse him for 72 hours (B’Tselem 6/26/22)

Israeli settlers set fire to Palestinian vehicles (Middle East Monitor 6/26/22)

Re: Alleged murder of a Palestinian last week by a settler

Video report: Palestinian family in Hebron traumatised after repeated Israeli settler attacks (Middle East Eye 6/24/22)

Ben & Jerry’s vs. Settlements

Sale puts Ben & Jerry’s ice cream back in West Bank, kind of (Associated Press, 6/29/22)

Ben & Jerry’s Israel, Unilever reach deal to end settlement boycott (Times of Israel 6/29/22)

Tweet from FMEP’s Lara Friedman 6/29/22: “Based on reports, hard to see why this is being spun as a victory by anti-BDS folks. In effect this marks B&J – the intl brand’s – complete withdrawal from both Israel & West Bank, replaced by a wholly distinct Israeli brand (permitted to sell ONLY in Israel & WB).

Israel’s claim it defeated Ben & Jerry’s melts under scrutiny (Electronic Intifada 6/29/22)

Masafer Yatta Ethnic Cleansing

‘They’re not arriving with trucks to deport us, but the goal is the same’ (+972 Magazine 6/29/22) [“From holding a mini-census to confiscating vehicles, the Israeli army is reminding the residents of Masafer Yatta who rules their lives.”]

Israeli settlers, forces assault activists involved in tree planting activity in Masafer Yatta (WAFA 6/29/22)

Israel orders halt on construction of three dwellings in Masafer Yatta (WAFA 6/28/22)

B’Tselem thread 6/28/22: “After Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled the state can expel some 1,000 Palestinians from their homes in an area it designated ‘Firing Zone 918’ in Masafer Yatta, the military informed the Palestinian DCO that troops will be training in the area for a month. Every Tuesday and Wednesday, from 12:00 to 6:00 P.M. On the morning of 21 June 2022, the military placed targets around the community of Khirbet al-Maghaz. According to residents, some of the targets were placed on a water container, on a tractor wagon and on sheaves of straw. At around 3:00 P.M., two Merkava tanks approached the community along with an infantry troop. The force advanced slowly, with the tanks emitting blue camouflage smoke and damaging farmland. When it was about 100 to 150 meters from the community, it turned back and left. On 22 June 2022, at around 12:00 P.M., a military force left a base within Israel’s borders and headed northeast, arriving at an area that lies between the communities of Khirbet al-Markaz and Khirbet Jenbah in Masafer Yatta. Upon arrival, the force, which included tanks and two bulldozers, stayed motionless for some three hours. It then advanced into farmland and entered a harvested wheat field. Community residents heard explosions, apparently caused by shelling from the tanks.The force then advanced east to the outskirts of Khirbet al-Fakhit, where it stopped for about 15 minutes, during which about 20 infantry soldiers trained in the fields with a helicopter flying low above them. The soldiers destroyed part of a wheat field that had not yet been harvested. Several activists protested the training. Soldiers pushed some of them, knocking them to the ground. Two Israeli activists were detained for about 15 minutes. This week the training has resumed. For more information on the high court ruling: Supreme Court rules: Israel above the law

Activists who interrupted IDF military training accused of ‘endangering lives’ (Israel Hayom 6/24/22) [“Video circulating on social media shows soldiers shoving and dragging away activists that entered the area of the military training illegally.”]

Around the West Bank

Palestinian families ordered to leave their homes in Jordan Valley during Israeli military training (WAFA 6/29/22)

Israeli settlers steal 10 dunums of Palestinian-owned land south of Bethlehem (WAFA 6/28/22)

Israeli occupation forces demolish agricultural facilities in the south of West Bank town (WAFA 6/28/22)

Israeli occupation forces demolish a Palestinian-owned water pond used to irrigate a grape field (WAFA 6/27/22)

Demolition of Palestinian-owned structures reported in Jordan Valley community (WAFA 6/27/22)

Jerusalem and Its Environs

The court ordered the state to address the question of the legality of the declaration of the Sumarin family home as an Absentee’s Property (Peace Now 6/30/22)

Israel demolishes seven Palestinian-owned structures near Jerusalem (WAFA 6/29/22)

Podcast – E1, E1, E1 (Terrestrial Jerusalem/Axis Mundi, ft. Danny Seidemann 6/29/22) [“It’s all about E1 on this episode of Axis Mundi—the contentious settlement proposal is back in the headlines ahead of a July Israeli Civil Administration planning meeting. Evan Gottesman speaks with TJ’s Danny Seidemann about E1, its geopolitical relationship with Jerusalem, and its impact on a future two-state outcome—plus, what all this means for U.S. President Joe Biden’s upcoming visits to Israel and Saudi Arabia.”’]

Ir Amim Twitter thread 6/28/22: “The Israeli Supreme Court will hold a hearing regarding the Sumreen Family. For 30 years they been in a legal battle against their forced eviction from their home in Wadi Hilweh, Silwan at the hands of the KKL-JNF in coordination with the settler org ELAD. The Sumreen Family’s story is intertwined w the worst of Israeli policies to consolidate Israeli control over the Old City Basin & erase Palestinian presence, narrative & identity from this area.”

In a Dramatic Development, Israel Initiates Settlement of Land Title Procedure on Land Adjacent to Al Aqsa and Across Abu Thor (Ir Amim & Bimkom, 6/27/22) [“the initiation of the process in Abu Thor and in the Umayyad palaces excavations/Ophel archeological site is a dramatic development, severely increasing the risk of state appropriation of Palestinian properties and threatening to further destabilize the conditions in Jerusalem and the region.”] Also see:

  • Israel Moves to Register Lands Near Al-Aqsa Using Funds Earmarked for Palestinians (Haaretz 6/26/22) [“The registration process – carried out using funds earmarked for narrowing economic disparities and improving the quality of life of Palestinian residents of Jerusalem – could spark protests from the Muslim religious trust that administers the Al-Aqsa mosque compound”]
  • No Change for East Jerusalem (Haaretz editorial 6/38/22) [“...the Justice Ministry used the budget intended to improve the situation of the Palestinian residents of the capital to accelerate the ‘Judaization’ of the eastern part of the city. If anyone hoped that the ‘government of change’ would stop the process, they were wrong. During the tenure of Gideon Sa’ar as justice minister the situation only grew worse. Three weeks ago, things advanced further when the official in charge of land registration published a plan to begin to register land ownership in the Ophel Archaeological Park, adjacent to the wall of the Temple Mount and Al-Aqsa Mosque. Not only is this the most sensitive piece of land in Jerusalem – the Palestinians and the Jordanian Waqf Islamic trust in any case are convinced that Israel wants to use this area to damage their status on the Temple Mount – this is an area where clearly no Palestinian could register ownership. Those who could benefit from it, again, are the entities active in tourism and archaeology at the site, first and foremost Elad, which recently received more government funding to excavate a channel that will reach the Ophel park.”]

A Game-Changing Achievement: “Mukhtar Protocol” Canceled (Regavim 6/26/22) [“Attorney Boaz Arzi, Director of Regavim’s Legal Division, added: ‘The State of Israel should have conducted full regulation procedures for all properties in Jerusalem immediately upon the city’s reunification, and the foot-dragging has resulted in the loss of thousands of dunams of land to fraudulent claims and the erosion of governance…’”]  Also see:

Israeli authorities force Palestinian to demolish his own house in East Jerusalem neighborhood (WAFA 6/26/22)

Bonus Reads

Palestine Under Occupation III: Mapping Israel’s Policies and Practices and their Economic Repercussions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (UN/ESCWA June 2022)

“Israel’s policies and practices in the occupied Palestinian Territory constitute a matrix of control and domination, that seeks to control the land and dominate the people; a matrix comprising policies and practices that, in violation of international law, have fragmented the Palestinian people and the occupied territory and eviscerated the economy rendering it asymmetrically dependent on Israel. A rights-based approach to development and relief efforts grounded in human rights and international law is therefore called for.”

AP Photos: Israel’s separation barrier, 20 years on (Associated Press 6/267/22) [photo essay] Text intro:

“Twenty years after Israel decided to build its controversial separation barrier, the network of walls, fences and closed military roads remains in place, even as any partition of the land appears more remote than ever. Israel is actively encouraging its Jewish citizens to settle on both sides of the barrier as it builds and expands settlements deep inside the occupied West Bank, more than a decade after the collapse of any serious peace talks. Palestinians living under decades of military occupation, meanwhile, clamor for work permits inside Israel, where wages are higher. Some 100,000 Palestinians legally cross through military checkpoints, mainly to work in construction, manufacturing and agriculture.”

Israel settlers escape high prices by shopping in West Bank (Middle East Monitor 6/25/22)