Settlement & Annexation Report: March 24, 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**

March 24, 2022

  1. Illegal Outposts & Settler Terrorism
  2. Israeli Government Actions/Policies
  3. Planned Mass Demolitions in Al-Walaja Village
  4. South Hebron Hills
  5. UN Special Rapporteur Weighs in on Settlements & Apartheid
  6. Further Reading

Illegal Outposts & Settler Terrorism

Israel Jewish settlers escalate aggression against Palestinians in West Bank (Middle East Monitor 3/24/22)

Time to Put an End to Nationalist Service Volunteers at Illegal West Bank Outposts (Haaretz editorial 3/23/22)

Settlers cancel meeting with Gantz over outpost razing, planning freeze (Jerusalem Post 3/22/22)

IDF mapped out West Bank Homesh yeshiva for demolition, politicians warn (Jerusalem Post 3/22/22)

Security forces raze buildings at two illegal West Bank outposts (Times of Israel 3/22/22)

Important Twitter thread from B’Tselem’s Sarit Michaeli re demolitions in outposts:

The Israeli authorities demolished 8 structures in two settlement outposts east of Ramallah. A few points: This is all privately owned, registered Palestinian land. The authorities aren’t doing anyone any favours. The settlers are apparently already rebuilding the structures. Activists have informed the Civil Administration. This seems like a “show demolition” to pretend the authorities are enforcing the law equally on settlers and Palestinians. But this is not a symmetric situation. All settlements are illegal and the outposts constructed in this area in recent years have served as base camps for violent attacks against Palestinian herding communities. Much of the construction of these outposts is directly or indirectly state funded. The settler lobby will also utilize the demolition in order to self victimize, in order to extract as much political capital from Bennet and Gantz, for a measure which will have very little impact on the general expansion of violent outposts in the area (because so limited). We should also be prepared for revenge attacks by settlers against Palestinian communities in the area, a common tactic known as “price tag”. For as long as Israel funds and sends soldiers to guard the more than 50 agricultural and herding outposts established in the past decade, that have taken over vast areas in the West Bank through the use of violence, this demolition is little more than a performance.”

Israeli Government Actions/Policies

Israeli Troops’ New Quota: Add 50 Palestinians to Tracking Database Every Shift (Haaretz 3/24/22)

Al-’Auja, Jordan Valley: Israel demolishes house under construction and confiscates community residents’ bulldozer (B’Tselem 3/23/22)

West Bank settler housing starts up 96%, but planning frozen (Jerusalem Post 3/21/22)

Israel demolishes homes of four families in East Taybah (Badu al-Mu’arrajat), leaving 21 people homeless (B’Tselem 3/20/22)

Military rolls out ‘terrorist infiltration’ phone alert for West Bank settlements (Times of Israel 3/19/22)

Planned Mass Demolitions in al-Walaja Village

Decisive Supreme Court Hearing Concerning 38 Homes in al-Walajeh to Take Place on March 30 (Ir Amim & Bimkom Report 3/21/22)

Members of Congress protest:

South Hebron Hills

Unshattered – Palestinian herders struggling under military occupation and settler violence – A photo essay from the Hebron hills. (UN/OCHA 3/23/22)

South Hebron Hills: Israel confiscates prefab used as gas station, and storage and destroys agricultural terraces, uprooting 60 olive trees (B’Tselem 3/22/22)

Palestinians in rural West Bank without water as Israel supplies settlements (The National 3/21/22) [also see: Abbas urges end to Israel’s looting of Palestinian water (Al Anadolu 3/22/22)]

When the Judge Ruling on the Fate of Palestinians Is Himself a Settler (Haaretz 3/22/11)

Coming face-to-face with the man who destroys Palestinian homes (+972 Magazine 3/20/22)

Also see: tweets from Basel Al-Adra documenting regular (daily/weekly) Israeli military operations against Palestinians living in Massafer Yatta

UN Special Rapporteur Weighs in on Settlements & Apartheid

Settlement Expansion Fuelling Violence in Occupied Palestinian Territory, Middle East Peace Process Special Coordinator Warns Security Council (UN – report from the UN Security Council 3/22/22)

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 (Advance Unedited Version). Includes a great deal relating to settlements and settlers, and weighs in at length on the issue of apartheid, including:

  1. Is this situation now apartheid? Applying each of the three steps of the amalgamated test from the Convention Against Apartheid and the Rome Statute, the Special Rapporteur has concluded that the political system of entrenched rule in the occupied Palestinian territory which endows one racial-national-ethnic group with substantial rights, benefits and privileges while intentionally subjecting another group to live behind walls, checkpoints and under a permanent military rule “sans droits, sans égalité, sans dignité et sans liberté” satisfies the prevailing evidentiary standard for the existence of apartheid.
  1. First, an institutionalized regime of systematic racial oppression and discrimination has been established. Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs in East Jerusalem and the West Bank live their lives under a single regime which differentiates its distribution of rights and benefits of the basis of national and ethnic identity, and which ensures the supremacy of one group over, and to the detriment of, the other. (The Palestinian Authority exercises restricted jurisdiction and provides services in limited parts of the West Bank that Israel has no interest in delivering.) The differences in living conditions and citizenship rights and benefits are stark, deeply discriminatory and maintained through systematic and institutionalized oppression.
  1. Second, this system of alien rule has been established with the intent to maintain the domination of one racial-national-ethnic group over another. Israeli political leaders, past and present, have repeatedly stated that they intend to retain control over all of the occupied territory in order to enlarge the blocs of land for present and future Jewish settlement while confining the Palestinians to barricaded population reserves. This is a two-sided coin: Israel’s plans for more Jewish settlers and larger Jewish settlements on greater tracts of occupied land cannot be accomplished without the expropriation of more Palestinian property together with harsher and more sophisticated methods of population control to manage the inevitable resistance. Under this system, the freedoms of one group are inextricably bound up in the subjugation of the other.
  1. And third, the imposition of this system of institutionalized discrimination with the intent of permanent domination has been built upon the regular practice of inhuman(e) acts. Arbitrary and extra-judicial killings. Torture. The violent deaths of children. The denial of fundamental human rights. A fundamentally flawed military court system and the lack of criminal due process. Arbitrary detention. Collective punishment. The repetition of these acts over long periods of time, and their endorsement by the Knesset and the Israeli judicial system, indicates that they are not the result of random and isolated acts but integral to Israel’s system of rule.
  1. This is apartheid. It does not have some of the same features as practiced in southern Africa; in particular, much of what has been called ‘petit apartheid’ is not present. On the other hand, there are pitiless features of Israel’s ‘apartness’ rule in the occupied Palestinian territory that were not practiced in southern Africa, such as segregated highways, high walls and extensive checkpoints, a barricaded population, missile strikes and tank shelling of a civilian population, and the abandonment of the Palestinians’ social welfare to the international community. With the eyes of the international community wide open, Israel has imposed upon Palestine an apartheid reality in a post-apartheid world.

Sample of coverage of the new UN report:

UN must hold Israel guilty of crimes of apartheid, investigator says (Jerusalem Post 3/23/22)

Israel is committing apartheid, says UN Special Rapporteur (Amnesty International 3/23/22)

UN Human Rights Council report accuses Israel of apartheid (Times of Israel 3/23/22)

Bonus Reads

Israeli settlers seize Palestinian house in Jerusalem’s Silwan after alleged purchase (The New Arab 3/24/22)

10,000 Americans call for boycott of General Mills over its East Jerusalem factory  (Middle East Monitor 3/24/22)

Where refugees become settlers (+972 Magazine 3/22/22)

The US should be reminded that Israel’s settlement expansion is a war crime (Middle East Monitor 3/22/22)