European Union proudly presents: 'Ancient village' is born

A closer look at the recent birth of an 'ancient village' in Gush Etzion - funded by the European Union.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Arab construction workers
Arab construction workers
Flash 90

The Palestinian Authority (PA), aided by the European Union (EU), is expanding its program of land-grabbing, taking control of a strategic area in the heart of the Etzion Bloc, between Route 60 and Neve Daniel.

Over the past two years, the PA has created, out of thin air, an "historic" village – that just so happens to be located on a strategic point adjacent to the Jerusalem-Hevron highway. The name given to this new "ancient" village: Shoshkhalah.

Regavim’s Field Coordinator for Judea and Samaria, Yishai Hemo, describes the methodology: "Over the course of the last two years, activists from the Arab town Al Khader, backed by Palestinian Authority and European Union funding, occupied the ruins of two ancient 'shomerot' (watchman’s huts) – primitive stone structures used by passing shepherds or farmers as shelter from the elements during the changing seasons that dot the landscape in the Jerusalem and Sataf areas. They renovated these abandoned structures and turned them into homes – and from that point, in very short order, totally new structures have been added in the surrounding area."

The signs posted on the refurbished buildings, proudly bearing the European Union emblem, explain that the site is an ancient village - Shoshkhalah – despite the fact that aerial photos paint a completely different picture: In the last two years, more than 15 homes have been built in this "village," each connected to infrastructure that provides solar-generated electricity and water from tanks paid for by the Europeans.

Analysis of aerial photos from 1967, as well as historic maps dating back to 1880, prove that there was never any settlement of any kind at the site.

"This is another phase in the Palestinian Authority-European Union program to seize control over strategic areas," adds Hemo. "We are all too familiar with the program – from illegal construction in the Adumim Region, from land-grabs and highly-developed construction projects on IDF training grounds in the Hevron Hills and Gush Etzion, and from the extensive agricultural work that the PA is carrying out as a means of securing ownership rights to tens of thousands of dunams that have been illegally seized for Roots Project activity."

"The 'ancient village' of Shoshkhalah is just one more example that illustrates the rule: There is no such thing as a vacuum. When the State of Israel fails to regulate and register land in Judea and Samaria, the Palestinian Authority takes advantage of the opportunity to seize this land and annex it, de facto, to its jurisdiction."