Settlement & Annexation Report: March 8, 2024


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

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March 8, 2024

  1. Israel Advances Plans for 3,400 Settlement Units
  2. A Must-Watch WSJ Feature on Outposts & Illegal Settlement Roads
  3. Bonus Reads

Israel Advances Plans for 3,400 Settlement Units

As anticipated, the Israel Higher Planning Committee convened on March 6, 2024 and issued approvals for the advancement of plans to build a total of 3,476 new settlement units in three settlements. The advancements are:

  • 2,452 new units in the Ma’ale Adumim settlement;
  • 694 new units in the Efrat settlement; and,
  • 330 new units in the Kedar settlement.

Notably, last week the Israeli government declared the land between the Kedar and Ma’ale Adumim settlements to be “state land,” which would allow the two settlements to be connected with future settlement construction. The plans approved this week are not designated for this newly expropriated land, where Palestinian bedouin communities are living under threat of forced displacement.

The United States criticized the announcement, alongside global condemnation. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk called settlements a war crime.

A Must-Watch WSJ Feature on Outposts & Illegal Settlement Roads

This week the Wall Street Journal published a must-watch video examining the illegal construction of roads and entrenchment of outposts in the aftermath of October 7th.

The investigation features Dror Etkes, founder of Kerem Navot, and a deeper dive into the strength, funding, and a strategy of the agricultural farming outposts. The role of the Israeli government in funding and permitting these illegal activities is also highlighted.

Bonus Reads

  1. “Israel Surrounds Itself With Ruins in Gaza for the Sake of ‘The Land of Israel’’ (Alon Arad and Rafael Greenberg in Haaretz)
  2. “Israeli settlers cross into Gaza, build ‘symbolic’ outpost” (+972 Magazine)
  3. “West Bank Mayor’s Ambassadorship Revoked Following Italian Government Opposition” (Haaretz)
  4. “NY congresswoman introduces bill requiring US refer to West Bank as ‘Judea and Samaria’ (ABC)
  5. “I met the Israeli settlers Biden placed sanctions on. They’re bad – but part of a rotten system” (Zak Witus in The Guardian)
  6. “Understanding Biden’s Settler Sanctions Strategy” (Jewish Currents)
  7. “Ambiguity of Netanyahu’s Recent Statement on Muslim Access to Al Aqsa during Ramadan Leaves Room for the Imposition of Restrictions” (Ir Amim)