Illegal building in Area C
Illegal building in Area CRegavim

Members of the Judea and Samaria Forum of the Jewish Home party sent a letter Wednesday to Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked in which they protested the conduct of the Civil Administration in advancing building plans for Palestinian Arabs in Area C.

They wrote: “As you know, the extensive building plan for Palestinians in the area of the city of Qalqiliya, as was widely publicized recently in the news, presents a gloomy picture of the conduct of the Civil Administration in everything relating to the advancement of plans for the Palestinian population in Judea and Samaria which come at the expense of Area C, intended [since it is under Israeli rule in the Oslo Accords] for Jewish settlement.”

The Forum said that “The Qalqiliya building plan is not an isolated occurrence. Together with it, the Civil Administration is advancing dozens of other building plans for Palestinians, entailing various goals: the expansion of existing population centers, permanent plans for the Bedouin, the normalization (legalizationn, ed.) of illegal villages, tourism infrastructure, environmental protection, and more. All these plans are planned in Area C.”

They detailed some of the plans, including the normalization of thousands of units in the area of Jericho, Bethlehem, and Kfar Petzael in the Jordan Valley.

The Forum said that the activity of the Civil Administration is problematic for several reasons. “These plans are being advanced with civilians considerations alone in mind, without any relation to political and security considerations. We’re essentially talking about adding area to Area A [at the expense of Area C which is under PA rule], the normalization of illegal villages, Palestinian footholds on strategic areas, the advancement of road infrastructure as the basis for demographic increases, advancing the development of the economy, etc. - all this is done within the framework of civilian and municipal considerations alone, while ignoring the serious implications from political and security perspectives."

They stressed: "The State of Israel is strengthening the Palestinian foothold over Judea and Samaria with its own hands, and is, de facto, bringing the vision of a Palestinian State to fruition.”

In addition, the Forum emphasized that “At the same time that these plans are being advanced quietly in the halls of the Civil Administration, a decisive freeze is taking place for the Jewish sector, for whom the process for a small plot of land entails a 'world war. ' While the Jews are forced to wait so as not to ‘create facts on the ground and confound future processes,’ the Palestinians are slowly-but-surely improving their foothold across the map. They build for them and freeze for us.”

“The Civil Administration acts with a kind of autonomy, is not elected and has no supervision from elected representatives, acts according to its own independent policy via its bureaucracy. Its goal is helping the Palestinians, even though this is achieved at the expense of Jewish settlement. MKs and ministers can declare whatever they want in the Knesset, but the power establishing the reality on a practical level is the appointed head of the Civil Administration, who is advancing positions which damage Jewish settlement. The advancement of these policies means handing over territory, de facto, to the PA, and it is unacceptable that this is carried out without the explicit approval of the political cabinet.”

The Forum called on Jewish Home ministers to demand from the Prime Minister “an extensive change in [...] the Civil Administration, with respect to the advancement of Palestinian projects and a change to conduct that is more fitting and transparent to the political echelon, into an executive entity and not one which advances its own policy, such that it will be possible to assess every program on an individual basis.”

In addition, they demanded an end to the freeze on Jewish planning and building in Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley. “The freeze must be stopped immediately, along with a return to objective norms with respect to the Jewish population,” the Forum concluded.