Settlement Round-Up: December 16, 2022


The Knesset’s Legislative Blitz Begins

  • Bill to Expand Powers of Far-right Netanyahu Allies on West Bank, Hold Office Passes First Vote” (Haaretz)
    • Dubbed the ‘Smotrich law,’ the proposed bill would add an extra minister working within the country’s Defense Ministry who will be handed control of the Civil Administration, a key West Bank authority that reigns over Palestinians and Israeli settlers alike, overseeing areas such as infrastructure and granting construction permits.”
  • Far-right Lawmakers Introduce Bill Permitting Return to West Bank Settlements Evacuated in 2005” (Haaretz)
    • Excerpt: “The proposed new legislation would repeal the provisions of the Disengagement Law – which initiated the withdrawal – pertaining to the four West Bank settlements. It would leave in place the compensation the law provided to those evacuated from the settlements and change the name of the law to describe it as a compensation law for ‘those harmed by the disengagement.’ The four West Bank settlements evacuated in August 2005 were Homesh, Sa-Nur, Ganim and Kadim. Since then, the law has barred Israeli citizens and residents from accessing the site without the army’s permission. The Israeli army has allowed visits to the settlements but has officially prevented their reestablishment.” 
    • Also See: “Israeli lawmakers move to resettle dismantled West Bank settlements” (Ynet)
  • “‘A Democracy in Name Only’: Israel’s AG Sounds Alarm Over Netanyahu’s Legislative Blitz” (Haaretz)
    • “Explained: What Is Israel’s Proposed Override Clause, and Why Is It a ‘Terrible Mistake’?” (Haaretz)

Settlers Are Policing Palestinian Construction, Life in Area C

  • Internal Documents Reveal Israeli Settlers’ Dedication to Ousting ‘Arabs’ From West Bank” (Haaretz)
    • Excerpt: “A Civil Administration internal document, which Haaretz obtained recently in the form of a map and Excel spreadsheet titled “Operations Room C,” lists 1,168 tip-offs through the online format during a period of about eight months this year, from March 1 to October 19. The document provides yet another glance at the intense involvement of settlers in Civil Administration and Israeli army operations, from evictions of the Palestinians from most of the territory of the West Bank and the prevention of their construction and infrastructure work, to the meticulous effort to ensure that they do not exceed the bounds of the enclaves Israel has allocated to them.”
  • Editorial – The Snitch Line Is Taking Power” (Haaretz)
    • Excerpt: “One of the settler lobby’s greatest achievements over the past 20 years was turning Category C (temporary construction powers held by Israel) into a sacred, permanent land deed received with the Torah at Mount Sinai. It’s no surprise that the settler lobby’s representatives in the incoming government are its strongest partners and will even manage the Palestinians’ lives through their control over the Civil Administration and the coordinator of government activities in the territories.Nevertheless, the truth is still this: Stripping the Palestinians of planning and building rights on their own land (whether private or public) violates international law and the principles of natural justice. ”

More Headlines

  • Netanyahu’s first coalition challenge is likely Khan al-Ahmar”  (Jerusalem Post)
  • U.S. presses UN not to update list of companies operating in Israeli settlements” (Axios)
    • Excerpt: “The UN General Assembly is expected to vote next week on a resolution asking the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to issue a legal opinion on whether the Israeli occupation of the West Bank constitutes a de-facto annexation. The U.S. has been actively helping Israel in recent weeks to lobby countries around the world to vote against the resolution or at least abstain, Israeli and U.S. officials told Axios.”