The PA's suffocation tactic

The illegal Palestinian Authority construction in Area C has nothing to do with overcrowding. It is part of a dangerous plan. Op-ed.

Yehuda Sharabany ,

PA Builds illegally in E1
PA Builds illegally in E1
Regavim (courtesy)

The Palestinian Authority's illegal construction in Area C of Judea and Samaria is comparable to the method utilized by an anaconda to kill its prey: by coiling its body around its target and constricting it until it can no longer breathe.

That is the PA's goal: to suffocate the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria, to prevent their expansion, and to occupy strategic locations while blocking major roads, particularly those leading to Jerusalem.

The PA's building has nothing to do with overcrowding; it is a strategic calculation designed with the help of the best cartographers and consultants from the European Union, which funds the PA with tens of millions of euros for this initiative.

If this weren't enough, the PA also carries out its illegal construction in a destructive manner, destroying every trace of natural terrain and archeological sites where Jewish civilization has been present for thousands of years.

This spans from the Jordan Valley, where Joshua first entered the land with the Israelites, to the sites of the Kingdom of Israel and the Hasmoneans near the entrance to Beth Horon. All of this is done under the "watchful eye" of Israel's Civil Administration and the Israeli government, which grossly ignore essential clauses in the Oslo Accords pertaining to control over Area C.

Recently, the Israeli government evicted the residents of Evyatar, a new community in Samaria established in the memory of 19-year-old Yehuda Guetta who was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist. The eviction occurred less than two months after the community's establishment, with the government promising that they would enable the residents to return should a legal examination rule in their favor.

What is remarkable about the case of Evyatar is that within a radius of a few hundred feet from the community, there are illegal Arab buildings that were constructed without any approval of the Civil Administration. But no one seems to care about those.

We cannot underestimate how well the Palestinian Authority understands the significance of establishing facts on the ground via illegal construction. Unfortunately, they are succeeding in placing nooses around the blocs of Jewish communities and in establishing territorial continuity from Jordan, Ramallah, and Jericho to Jerusalem.

In recent weeks, I have been traveling together with Merav Hajaj, one of the founders of the Choosing Life Forum of Bereaved Families, to document the illegal PA construction around Ma'ale Adumim and the E1 area, which contains the most central road connecting the Jordan Valley to Jerusalem from the east.

There we were witness to the shocking reality in which the PA has formed a noose around the Jewish communities in the area by means of illegal construction. Furthermore, we saw how they filled the adjacent valleys with debris that can be used by Palestinians to ambush Jewish cars with Molotov cocktails and rocks.

The eastern entrance to Jerusalem is, in effect, subject to the mercy of Israel haters who at a whim can block it off and recreate scenes reminiscent of the riots in mixed Jewish-Arab cities during Operation Guardian of the Wall.

The Israeli government must act to contain this situation and to prevent similar situations from occuring again. This is of vital interest for Israel's security and for the continued existence and prosperity of future generations.

Yehuda Sharabany is the field coordinator for Im Tirtzu, Israel's largest grassroots Zionist movement.