Establishing Facts In The Field
By Amichai Atali – Ma’ariv 10th May
Translated by Yonatan Silverman
THE OUTPOST METHOD – PALESTINIAN STYLE
In Recent Months The Palestinians Have Settled Dozens Of Points All Around Judea And Samaria – The Method: Erecting Prefabricated Buildings In A Few Hours, While The Monitors Are On A Break – The High Court Will Soon Be Compelled To Decide On The Volatile Issue.
A few weeks before Passover 2011 a factory in the industrial zone of Mishor Adumim received an exceptional order. The factory produces prefabricated buildings. The Palestinian customer asked to receive urgently more than 80 prefabricated buildings. The factory owner had never encountered such a large or urgent order, but he fulfilled it on schedule. Some weeks later while the civil administration monitors were on a Passover break, hundreds of Palestinians came to the area in Nahal Kidar under Ma’aleh Adumim and in a short time erected all the buildings.
In recent months the outposts that settlers in Judea and Samaria have erected became material for headlines, after the High Court ordered the state to evacuate the Migron outpost and five buildings in the Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El. But it appears that in recent years the Palestinians adopted the outpost method, and they create facts through quick building in the style of “Tower and Stockade”. In the assessment of figures in the field, the Palestinian outposts are taking up thousands of dunam.
In 2009, after a long political freeze, the prime minister of the PA Salem Fayyad revealed a plan whose purpose was dedication of the territory in anticipation of declaration of a Palestinian state. Among the clauses of the plan which received the name “Fayyad Plan” the PA prime minister stated his intention to acquire as much land as possible in Territory C. In recent months dozens of Palestinian outposts were erected in the area of Judea and Samaria: in Mt. Hebron, along the Jerusalem – Dead Sea highway, adjacent to the Begin highway in Jerusalem (in the part that connects to highway 443) and in various points in Samaria. In each one of the outposts the Palestinians have erected between three and dozens of buildings, and next to each one is a yellow water holder and a generator, on which the Palestinian Authority symbol is displayed.
The most extensive building operations took place during the break of the civil administration monitors. The method that worked very well in Nahal Kidar has been repeated since then in dozens of additional points all around Judea and Samaria. During the night, on holidays, during breaks, and on Shabbat, dozens of Palestinians come to the territory and quickly erect the buildings.
The law enables the civil administration monitors to disqualify a building only if it is in building stage. If the building is completed, a destruction order must be issued. The administration does issue orders, and the Palestinians in response petition the high court. The Supreme Court judges demand that the state prosecutor provide justifications for destroying the buildings, and until a response comes down the outposts multiply in the territory on practically a daily basis.
“Robbery In Broad Daylight”
Establishment of the outposts is liable to have far reaching political significance for Israel. During negotiations the state will find itself in a disadvantageous opening position while the Palestinians are in fact already settling thousands of dunam, the lion’s share of which is located inside what is accepted as “the settlement bloc”.
The Regavim movement which deals with tracking and documenting illegal building by Arabs in the green line and the territories, filed a petition this week to the high court demanding that it order destruction of dozens of buildings out of the hundreds that have been erected in the Palestinian outposts. The petition includes proof of state ownership of the land and aerial photos that document their swift proliferation. “What the Palestinians are doing is land theft in broad daylight, emanating from a clear political objective of the PA to take control over as much state land as possible,” said Oved Arad, Regavim’s coordinator for Judea and Samaria.
A defense official commented on the situation also. “There is no doubt but that the Palestinians have learnt how to bend the Israeli system,” he said. “They are duplicating the method of “Tower and Stockade” and then they know how to elicit the protection of the court. The massive theft of land has to concern us very much, and the court should relate to the situation with great severity.”