The Palestinian Authority is continuing its attempts to take over the land in Area C, which is under full Israeli control, and is being assisted in this by no less than the Civil Administration.
According to figures presented on Thursday by the Coordinator of Government Activities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza (COGAT), in 2011 a total of 182 PA projects in Area C were promoted, with the cooperation of the international community and the PA itself. The projects are infrastructural ones, mostly in the fields of the environment, water and electricity.
Two months ago, a contract mediated by COGAT was signed between the Israel Electric Company and the PA’s Department of Energy, authorizing the establishment of four new substations for electricity generation in Judea and Samaria. All four stations are in Area C. This project is funded by the European Bank and the cost is estimated at millions of euros.
In recent months, the PA has been working to take over the open space in Area C in order to break the Jewish continuity between the communities in the area, particularly in the settlement blocs.
The takeover is being achieved using an organized plan through the establishment of economic and infrastructure projects in the area. In some cases, the PA received approval for the projects from the Civil Administration by order of Defense Minister Ehud Barak. The applications were filed on behalf of the PA by EU member states, a fact which made it easier for them to be approved by Israel, which is wary of conflicts with the international community.
One such project is the road which leads to the new PA city of Rawabi currently being built. The decision to promote the construction of the road was reached by the Defense Ministry, despite objections by all the professionals in the Civil Administration.
The road connects Rawabi to the Trans-Binyamin highway, Highway 465. The city is to be home to over 25,000 people.
Jews living in Judea and Samaria, already facing increasingly unsafe roads in recent months with terror attacks and violent carjackings by PA Arabs on the rise, recently held a protest against the plans.
The protesters pointed out that not only could terrorists make use of PA traffic on the road to carry out attacks, but the heavy increase in traffic would pose other dangers.
A month ago, the Civil Administration officially announced that it is promoting “projects which contribute to the welfare and to the improvement of the lives of the Palestinian population in Area C.”
A spokesman for the Civil Administration said that “the projects mainly focus on the fields of environment, improved access to villages and improving the economy.”
PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad recently inaugurated a new PA construction project, a water dam in the Jordan Valley, despite the fact that it is located in Area C.
Fayyad said he will not wait for Israeli permission to allow him to develop the Jordan Valley, stressing that “this is our land and it is our natural right to develop this area and to serve our people living here.”