[News] Israel Approves Plan to ‘Legalize’ Colonial Outposts and Construct Thousands More Units

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Nov 10 15:12:39 EST 2015

  Israel Approves Plan to ‘Legalize’ Colonial Outposts and Construct
  Thousands More Units

author Tuesday November 10, 2015 06:02author by Saed Bannoura

    In yet another decision that violates International Law and the
    Fourth Geneva Convention, the Higher Construction and Planning
    Committee of the Israeli ‘Civil Administration Office’ has approved
    a construction plan to ‘legalize’ two colonial outposts in Ramallah,
    in addition to building 2200 more units. 

The Israeli plan includes the approval of a structural map for the 
Ma'ale Mikhmas illegal colony, built on illegally seized Palestinian 
lands east of Ramallah. The plan also calls for the construction of 2200 
new units, and the ‘legalizing’ two outposts (this would make them legal 
under Israeli law, but they remain a direct violation of international law).

The plan, originally submitted in 2014 and approved by Israeli Defense 
Minister Moshe Ya’alon last month, would lead to the construction of an 
additional 800 units in Ma'ale Mikhmas by the year 2030 and 300 units in 
Kokhav HaShahar. In total, the plan includes the construction of at 
least 2200 units in Kokhav HaShahar, Ramonim, Ma’ale Mikhmas and Psagot, 
to be completed by 2030.

The plan also includes the construction of new units in Tel Zion, and 
the area south of Ofra colony, in the northern part of the West Bank.

Israeli daily Haaretz said the approval comes ahead of a hearing in the 
High Court of Justice, scheduled for Wednesday, to look into a petition 
submitted by Yesh Din Israeli organization, on behalf of Palestinian 
land owners, calling for the removal of Mitzpeh Danny illegal outpost, 
built on private Palestinian property.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry denounced the Israeli plans, and 
considered it part of the comprehensive Israeli escalation, and crimes, 
against the Palestinian people, in addition to directly violating all 
related resolutions and agreements.

The Ministry added that Israeli plans would place “further obstacles in 
the efforts to resume direct peace talks to reach a comprehensive 
settlement of the conflict, by achieving the two-state solution.”

It stated that the timing of the new plan, ahead of the planned meeting 
between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin 
Netanyahu places further tensions and obstacles that would further 
obstruction the conducts of the Quartet Committee (The United States, 
the European Union, Russia and the United Nations).

“Israel continues to commit its crimes with impunity, acting as a state 
that is above International Law,” the Ministry said, “Settlements are 
illegal, and are considered war crimes under International Law, signed 
agreements and the Fourth Geneva Conventions.”

The Ministry said Israel’s colonies in occupied Palestine are among the 
issues recently presented to the International Criminal Court.

It called on the Quartet Committee and the UN Security Council to 
require Israel to halt its violations, and abide by international law, 
in addition to stopping the escalating Israeli crimes and violations 
against the Palestinian people, and against their lands and holy sites.

The Ministry also called on the Security Council to provide the 
Palestinians, who are living under an illegal and immoral Israel 
occupation, with the necessary international protection.

While the number of Jewish settlers illegally living in the West Bank 
and Jerusalem by the end of 2013 was 350,000, the current number of 
settlers is around 54,.000, the Israeli Information Center for Human 
Rights in the Occupied Territories (B’Tselem) said.

It added that Israel established 125 settlements, dubbing them as 
“communities,” in the West Bank, in the period between 1967 and late 2013.

In addition, more than 100 colonial outposts were established without 
authorization from the Israeli government, yet these outposts received 
funding and support from government ministries despite their 'illegal' 
status. The Israeli government also directly funded and supported 
colonial outposts in the heart of Palestinian neighborhoods in occupied 
East Jerusalem.
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