B'Tselem Can't Be Trusted to Tell the Truth

The NGO's latest report sees Area C as already part of a PA state by rights. All the Jewish communities are in Area C and Naftali Bennett has suggested annexing it and giving its Arab residents Israeli citizenship.

Ted Belman,

Ted Belman
Ted Belman

B’Tselem (a left wing NGO that reports on human rights in Judea and Samaria) issued a press release this week which read in part:‎

‎“On June 5, B’Tselem published a new report that presents and analyzes Israel’s policy on planning ‎and construction in Area C, and the policy’s infringement of human rights of the entire Palestinian ‎population of the West Bank. This policy is grounded in a view of Area C’s land and water as ‎intended to serve Israeli needs.‎

‎“Therefore, the actions of the Israeli authorities are designed to minimize Palestinian presence in ‎the region and lead to an expansion of the settlements and their areas of control. In other words, ‎in practice, Israel has annexed Area C and brought about circumstances that will influence its ‎permanent status. ‎

‎“Nevertheless, Israel’s ongoing control of resources and planning in Area C generates a reality that ‎violates a wide spectrum of human rights in the West Bank on a daily basis.‎

‎“Area C is home to some 180,000 Palestinians. It is also the primary land resource for the entire ‎West Bank. Consequently, Israel’s policy in this area also adversely affects the rights of Palestinians ‎living in Areas A and B. See attached report for a comprehensive explanation of these issues.”‎

B"Tselem is wrong on all counts. Its report is very misleading.

They seem to think that Israel is holding this land on trust for the Palestinians and is violating that trust by building 'settlements' and using the water. The reality is that the Oslo Accords clearly set out what each parties rights and obligations are in Areas C, B and A.

These Accords go into great depth as to the use of the water stored in the aquifers beneath Area C. Israel has in no way violated these Accords. Nowhere in the Accords did Israel agree to prevent Jews from building in Area C.

According to the government's Levy Report, the Jews have the right to settle these lands. According to the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Arabs don’t.

B’Tselem ignores all this and starts with the assumption that the lands are Palestinian Arab lands. Not so. Nowhere were these lands granted to the Palestinian Arabs. They agreed to the terms of Oslo. Now they don’t want to abide by them.

Any time the Palestinian Authority want to cut a deal with Israel to establish a state they can do so, but that would require them to think about compromising on their demands. This they are unwilling to do.

Oslo contemplated a negotiated settlement. They reject negotiations so can have nothing to complain about.

According to Naftali Bennett Area C has 60,000 Arabs, but B’Tselem claim 180,000 without giving the source of that number. The truth is probably somewhere between these numbers, but Israeli government sources claim that only 4% of the Palestinian Arabs of Judea and Samaria live there.


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