Israel announced an initiative to combat the “hostile takeover” of land in Judea and Samaria by the Palestinian Authority as part of its plan to bypass negotiations and create facts on the ground.
Minister of Community Affairs Tzachi Hanegbi unveiled on Thursday a new initiative to prevent the illegal takeover of state lands in Judea and Samaria.
The Ministry of Community Affairs and the Prime Minister’s Office announced that the government will allocate NIS 20 million in 2021 to fund vehicle and drone patrols that will collect information on illegal activities to seize lands in Area C of Judea and Samaria, activities spearheaded by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and often funded by European countries.
The information will be relayed to the IDF, police and Civil Administration.
Area C is under full Israeli jurisdiction and control as per the 1994 Oslo Accords.
In 2009, then-prime minister of the PA Salaam Fayyad laid out the Plan for the Creation of the State of Palestine, a methodical program for seizing control of territory in Area C to form a broad and viable basis for a Palestinian state, specifically in the areas under Israeli control.
Fayyad’s plan essentially bypasses all negotiation or compromise with Israel and creates facts on the ground.
According to data collected by the Regavim movement, which combats illegal Arab construction, in 2009 the number of illegal Arab structures in Area C stood at 29,784, while in 2018 the number surged to 58,435.
“We are mobilizing in full force to the battle against the hostile takeover of Area C,” Hanegbi stated.
“The regional and local councils in Judea and Samaria will receive a dedicated budget to assemble effective and determined systems to thwart the Palestinian Authority’s stated plan to establish facts on the ground, in violation of the law and the agreements it signed with Israel,” he added.
The Regavim Movement applauded the announcement, saying that “the government’s commitment to allocate funds for land protection in Area C is the first step in stemming the tide of the Palestinian Authority’s takeover.”
“The State of Israel must win the battle for Area C – and this is the first line of defense,” it added.
The Knesset has held multiple sessions on the issue and has the state has taken pointed action against the illegal Arab construction but has yet to present and execute a comprehensive plan on the threat to Israeli sovereignty in Area C.
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