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Newspaper : The Republic

Uruguay, Montevideo, August, Friday 29 and Saturday 30, 2008

Cancer of Israeli settlements in Palestine

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By: Suhail Hani Daher Akel (*)

The arrogant attitude of the Israeli Occupying Power, imposed a reign of terror by Jewish settlers against Palestinian citizens.

In the painful album of the memories, the Zionists created to Israel destroying 418 Palestinian villages and cities in 1948. In April 1949, the Israeli government had already installed 180,000 Jews in Palestinian homes expropriated. The theory of the destruction is inexhaustible.

In its unilateral war, concealed and racist, Israel continues with its illegal colonization activities to Palestine with the illegal construction of settlements since 1967 and the Apartheid wall that it surpasses the 800 kilometers of longitude since 2002.

According to statistics. The Palestinian people have suffered heavily during the past eight years as a result of the plan ‘Sharon-Mofaz’, who applied the final solution,  ethnic cleaning,  the Israeli military attacks, invasions and re-occupation of cities and villages. The humanitarian crisis was increasing as a result of the economic suffocation and Israeli pressure. Being the Apartheid wall and settlements that cancer consumes daily to Palestine.

By the strategic geographic placement of illegal settlements and the construction of bypass roads linking settlements, Israel, have placed severe burdens on Palestinians' freedom of movement dividing of the North Zone of Palestine (West Bank) into isolated cantons. The permanent earth robbery have stifled the development of Palestinian towns and villages. His besieged obstructed the traffic and communication as a result of the occupation soldiers, blocked, curfews, military checkpoints and control of the Mediterranean Sea in Gaza.

Before the Israeli iniquity, the words spoken resurgence in 1956 by one of the European-Zionist founders of Israel, David Ben Gurion, blossom out: “if I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an agreement with Israel. It is logical: we have taken hold of their country. It is true that God promised it to us. How can they be interested in it? Our God dos not belong to them. Anti-Semitism, Nazism, Hitler and Auschwitz have existed. Are they to blame for it? (no)… Just know that we went and stole their country”.

Fifty years after these expressions, the premier Ehud Olmert, in 2006, it considered that: “Israel will set its borders in the 2010”. Reaffirming the Zionist historical interest of a permanent redesign of the Israeli border marked by the earth theft, the expansion, wall and settlements, allowing them to keep a high percentage Palestinian territory of 1967, including Jerusalem, before 2010.

With colonial wisdom and a sea of empty offers of peace, Olmert has decided scoff at his government's repeated promises to freeze construction in settlements. The false promises were denounced by the American newspaper Washington Post, who recounted:Despite Israeli commitments to end settlement expansion, both planning and construction are moving forward every day across the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In the six months since negotiations resumed between Israel and the Palestinians (in Annapolis), settlements have remained a sore point, adding: “To Palestinians, the expansion of settlements represents proof that Israel is not serious about wanting a peace deal”(WP,May 20, 2008).

At the moment, in Givat Zeev, a illegal settlement northwest of Jerusalem, 750 apartments are rising in a Palestinian hillside enclave that sits a mile of others the existing settlements. Promotion with a provocative big poster that reads: “Welcome to the New Upper Givat Zeev” promising “exclusive apartments with high quality construction standards.

On the outskirts of Jerusalem. The Zionist ultra-Orthodox settlement of Betar Illit, its mayor Meir Rubinstein, eager for more Palestinian land, noted that:  “the last count  was 39,000 settlers. Perhaps now reach 40 or 41,000…every day in Betar a few more are born”. In colonial complacency.  The spokesman of the Israeli fundamentalist ultra-Orthodox Shas party, Roi Lachmanovitch, he promised that “soon there will be 800 more housing units in Betar Illit”.

The colossal Jerusalem settlements were erected during the illegal mayorship of Teddy Kollek and spread over a large Jerusalem soil, such as Ma’ale Adumim, a long time, the Israelis intend to build 3,500 houses in adjacent Palestinian lands.  This growth has But those plans are being blocked, in part because of pressure from Washington.spurious desires to isolate East Jerusalem and finally to sever the northern West Bank from the southern West Bank and unify Jericho with Jerusalem. Ma’ale Adumim, protected by the Apartheid wall, is the largest Jewish settlement turned into a big city in Palestinian territory with more than 55,000 Jewish illegal settlers arrived from different part from the world.

The border area of the settlement covers 50 square kilometers, and according to planes, has approximately 10 thousand apartments.  The Israeli goal is to cut links among existing Palestinian communities, to Judaizing and strangle the eastern reaches of the city through settlement, land confiscation, the demolition of houses and state terror. On 14 September 1999, Ehud Barak visited Ma’ale Adumim and declared: “You are part of Jerusalem. (…) Each house you have built forms part of the Israeli State”. (MEDEA, Bruxelles, Nov.2001).

The strategy of illegal settlement expansion, confirms that all its Israel's declared policies about an disengagement from Occupied Palestinian Territory, from Oslo Agreement 1993 to Annapolis 2007, are a charade to mislead international public opinion. At the end of February of 2008, illegal Jewish settlers have established the new West Bank colony Maskiot in the Jordan Valley and expanded the existing colony of Eli, a settlement about 10 miles north of Ramallah. The defense minister Ehud Barak, approved in late July plans for the new colonial settlement Maskiot in the Palestinian land of the Jordan Valley, as part of an agreement between him and the settlers who were evacuated from the Gaza Strip in 2005, according to newspaper The Jerusalem Post (5/8/2008). 

The attempts to colonize and Judaizing lands in East Jerusalem by the ultra-orthodox fanatic Jewish religious groups are never halted or stopped. During the 1990's, the American-Jewish Mr. Irwin Moskowitch acquired, so spurious, an area of 14,500 square meters in East Jerusalem. Since November 1998, Jewish settlers began to excavate the ground in the Palestinian neighborhood Ras Al-Amud, to begin construction of the settlement Ma'alah Hazeintim. With impunity, the Israeli authorities, so deceitful, affirmed that this excavation was carried out archeological.

The construction of 133 houses, a synagogue and a commercial center at Ras Al-Amud (Ma’alah Hazeintim), represents yet another step in Israel's colonial settlement campaign in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the repeated violations to international law and resolutions of the Security Council in this regard. The reality of the Israeli tactic with the settlement of Ma'alah Hazeitim, was anticipating, since 1990, any idea of dividing Jerusalem.

The holy Bethlehem city, recovered in 1995 and reoccupation in 2000, was traversed by the Apartheid wall along with the cities of Beit Sahour and Beit Yala. In Beit Sahour, to the south of Jerusalem, the Israeli settlers, during the third week of  May, violently occupied 1,000 dunum of Palestinian earth east of the city to build a new illegal settlement. On this issue, the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ), revealed information about Israeli intentions to build a new settlement on this land call  Ush Ghurab.

Among the tedious examples of the theft of Palestinian land. In Hebron (Al-Khalil), home of 180,000 Palestinians and burial place of the prophet Abraham, is Kiryat Arba’a. Another of the illegal settlements in expansion and one of the most aggressive by the ultra-religious fanaticism of its 7,000 settlers, with constant attacks and persecution against the Palestinian civilian population. In Hebron it feels like a permanent air of tension, because Kiryat Arba’a, is a bellicose fortress guarded and protected by Israeli forces.

The German-Jewish lawyer, Elyakim Ha'itzni, is one of the founders of the settlers movement in Occupied Palestine and one of the creators of the Kiryat Arba’a settlement, together with the ultra-fanatical rabbis Moshe Levinger and Meir Kahane. Ha'itzni was born in Kiel, Germany, 1926. In 1938, the European-Zionist agency it transfer from Germany to Jerusalem, Palestine, while, many of his relatives perished in the Nazi Holocaust. In 1967, after of Israeli war occupation, he and other Jews fanatic moved quickly to establish new Zionist settlements occupied Palestinian territories and imposed the Zionist Holocaust against the Palestinian population of Hebron.

In the settlement this the tomb of settler terrorist Baruch Goldstein one physician born and raised in Brooklyn, EEUU.  The February 25 of 1994, with his war rifle ‘Galil’ opened fire on Muslims worshiping at the Mosque of Ibrahim, killed 63 and injuring more than 200 Palestinians, in what became known as ‘The Hebron Massacre’. At Kiyart Arba, is considered a American-Jew terrorist as a ‘hero’ and built monument white her figure.

Behind the settler families is an fundamentalist organization known as Nakhalat Shimon, founded by Benny Elon, former cabinet minister and leader of the extreme orthodox Moledet Party, which seeks the expulsion of Palestinians of the lands and it considers: “Building Jewish neighborhoods next to open areas in Jerusalem will prevent invasion and illegal construction by Palestinians who live near the Old City”.  In 2004, introduced  his tedious plan “Jordan is Palestine”, to deport all Palestinians.

Most of the settlements are built on fertile land usurped the Palestinians. With its rich hydric resours as the Western Aquifer (Jordan basin), springs and wells, which allowed the settlers to use 2,400 m3 of Palestinian waters per year, compared to 50 m3 per year who are assigned by the Occupying Power to the Palestinian population.

The cancer of the settlements is guaranteed by the laws and the Israeli Ministries. a) The Emergency Law of the Housing Ministry of 1990, allows him to plan the site for settlements  without first going to the municipalities. b) The Ministry of Justice in the majority of the cases, he avoids prosecuting those settlers who expel Palestinians from the homes by means of strength. c) The Knesset (Parliament), passed a law which authorizes settlers to carry war weapons and use them against any Palestinian ‘suspect’, who has a weapon or not. d) Finance Ministry he is authorized to seize the houses of those Palestinians who do not pay their taxes with regard to property. The  Military Order Nº 58 permits them to usurp, sell or rent the Palestinian real state in the West Bank. e) Ministry of the Interior, usually, he applies Law of ‘Property of Absentees’of 1950, which today allows military judges to seize territories or houses. f) The municipalities, in the case of the illegal Jerusalem Municipality, they emitted decrees which permit them to establish settlements around the Arab neighborhoods. Those places highly populated by Palestinians are called ‘Green Zones’, where constructions are not allowed. Planning’s are generally secret in order to catch Palestinians unawares and not allow them to appeal.

In the first trimester of 2008, Israeli forces demolished 124 properties as compared with 107 for the whole of 2007, leading to the displacement of 530 Palestinians civilians, including 135 children. The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a report: “more than 3,000 Palestinian-owned structures in the West Bank have pending demolition orders, which can be immediately executed without prior warning”…“Children are frequently disproportionately affected by the demolition of their homes and the subsequent displacement of their families”. For its part, according to Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, in the first six months of 2008, the Zionist settlers perpetrated 439 attacks violent against the Palestinian civilian population. (H.15/8/2008).

The past May 22 of 2008, bulldozer of the Occupying Power demolished six Palestinian apartments in occupied Jerusalem at the usual pretext of lack of building permits. Without calm for the punished Palestinian people. The 10 of June, Israel, announced the construction of 1,300 houses in the neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo of Jerusalem, that already has  2,000 units. The illegal Israeli Commission of Urban Planning of Jerusalem, that depends on the Interior Ministry, anticipates that altogether the number of houses in that settlement will be duplicated, taking them to 4,000 units. 

A month’s mid June, municipal teams in the occupied Jerusalem delivered ‘demolition notifications’ to owners of a further 88 houses in Silwan, near  Mount Jabal Abu Ghneim, which would leave homeless more than 1,500 Palestinians.

The illegal construction at Ras Al-Amud , a crowded Arab neighborhood of Occupied East Jerusalem, was also brought to the attention of the Security Council via two letters on 19 September 1997 (A/52/371, S/1997/72, A/ES-10/15) and 27 August 1998 (A/52/1025, S/1998/816).The crisis of Mount Jabal Abu Ghneim in East Jerusalem, for its expropriation in 1991 and the establishment of the Zionist settlement of Har Homa (1999-2005), forced The illegal construction at Ras Al-Amud , a crowded Arab neighborhood of Occupied East Jerusalem, was also brought to the attention of the Security Council via two letters on 19 September 1997 (A/52/371, S/1997/72, A/ES-10/15) and 27 August 1998 (A/52/1025, S/1998/816). the UN General Assembly, call a emergency special session on April 24 of 1997, to consider the “illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory”. The session, overwhelmingly adopted five strong resolutions: ES-10/2 (25/4/’97), ES-10/3 (15/7/’97), ES-10/4 (13/11/’97), ES-10/5 (17/3/’98) and ES-10/6 (9/2/’99), “condemning Israel's construction at Jabal Abu Ghneim and all other illegal Israeli actions in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem…reaffirming the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949”. In addition, the resolutions: “reaffirmed that the measures taken by Israel, which have altered or purported to alter the character, legal status and demographic composition of Jerusalem are null and void and have no validity whatsoever”.

The Presidency of the Council European Union, headed by France, on August 8, 2008, expressed: “its deep concern at the decision of the Israeli authorities to approve the construction of 400 housing units in the settlement of Neveh Yaacov and launch a auction for the construction of 286 and 130 houses in the settlements of Beitar Illit and Har Homa”.  The Presidency, “reiterates that the settlement of the colonies anywhere that is within the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, is illegal under international law”. With total sarcasm and ignoring the legal international laws.

Ironic and ignoring international laws legal, Ehud Olmert, expressed: “We are building in Jerusalem because everyone knows that there is no chance the State of Israel will give up neighborhoods like Har Homa, as  know, it's an inseparable part of Jerusalem”.

The fraudulent maneuvers of the settlers, supported by the Israeli government, the overwhelming strategic Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, near Mount Scopus in East Jerusalem. In 1956 the neighborhood housed 28 families of Palestinian refugees of 1948. After the 1967 occupation, settlers fanatical ultra-Orthodox were awarded these earth with impunity, registering ownership in the Israeli Property Registry in 1972. Finally, settlers they sold the land to the Israeli company Nahlat Shamo'an, who in February 2008 presented a project to the Israeli Jerusalem Municipality to demolish the 28 homes and instead build 200 apartments and a shopping center as a prelude to a new settlement for Jewish emigrants. 

The Palestinian committee of residents of Sheikh Jarrah, in June 2008, rejected the initiative and called upon the international community, human rights institutions and the United Nations, to “condemn the policy of Judaization of Jerusalem which affects Palestinian presence”. Sheikh Jarrah, is one of the most sensitive sites in East Jerusalem. The installation of a new settlement will contribute significantly to the encirclement of the Old City

Without ethics. Israel, used during 15 years of negotiations before the world as a shield to give the impression that there is a real ‘peace process’ in progress.  Meanwhile, by means perfidious enhanced its 120 settlements and 102 outpost with more than 470,000 illegal Jewish settlers who asphyxiate the life and harmony in occupied Palestine. Only in the capital, sector East Jerusalem, were installed 250,000 settlers since 1967.

The main settlements, turned opulent cities, are: Attarot; Neveh Yaacov; Pisgat Zeev; French Hill; Montus Scopus; Ramot; Ramot Eshkoh Talpiot; Gilo; Har Homa; Karnei Shomron, Ariel; Givat Zeev; Geva Benyamin; Ma’aleh Adumim; Gush Etzion;  Ma’alah Hazeintim; Migron; Gush Katif; Eli; Kiryat Arba’a; Beitar Illit and new Maskiot, among others hundreds.

Gaza, it's a painful chapter. The war criminal Ariel Sharon (convalescent), engineer of the Apartheid wall, removed its 21 settlements with his 8,692 settlers of Gaza in September 2005 and turned Gaza Strip into a ‘open-air big jail’, where 1,5 million Palestinians live in barely 356 square kilometers.  Ehud Olmert, heir and regent of Apartheid, continued the ethnic cleansing against to Palestinian population.  Since June 2007, siege Gaza; closed the Rafah crossing on the border with Egypt, the only step available to gazauie to enter or leave of Gaza; blocked and restricted the fuel supplies, foods and medicines, turning Gaza Strip into a big ‘concentration camp’ of the twenty-first century. 

The international community and UN, regards all Jewish settlements in the Palestinian occupied territories as illegal. Regardless of when they were built, or weather they are authorized or unauthorized by Israeli government. The expulsion of persons and confiscation of their land for settlement construction is in violation of the rules contained in The Hague regulations of 1907, on the protecting public and private property in occupied territory. Israel's settlement policy and practices clearly contravene international law.

The Security Council in its resolution 452 of  July, 20 of 1979, “calls upon the Government and people of Israel to cease, on an urgent basis, the establishment, construction and planning of settlements in the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem”…“not only violate the Fourth Geneva Convention, but also, constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East”. In its resolution 465, March 9 of 1980, unanimously, "Strongly deplores Israel's refusal to cooperate ... and regrets for his formal rejection of Resolution 452”

Article 49, paragraph 6 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, stipulate that: “the Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territories it occupies”. On the other hand, the International Court of Justice, the July 9 of 2004, declared that: “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,  are illegal and an obstacle to peace, to economic and social development”. Call the “wall of illegal” and “requested to Israel to freeze its construction, demolish the constructed and  compensate the Palestinian families harmed”. 

True peace can only be built on dignity and justice. The Israeli government, after 60 years is not showing positive signs that allow the return of the independent Palestinian State with Jerusalem capital

The Occupying Power, broke the basic principles of human beings, violating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948: “Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”. The world must be judged.

(*) First Ambassador of the Palestine State in Argentine.

Copyright, Suhail Hani Daher Akel. Publication or distribution of this material is allowed provided its content is not altered and the source and its author are cited.