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Friday, August 03, 2012

For the first time in nearly 20 years, a Jewish municipality in Samaria is allowed to expand

It was disclosed on Thursday that this week, the IDF signed the orders allowing the municipality of Beit El to expand onto state lands that were outside its boundaries. I believe that this is the first time since the Oslo Accords in 1993 that the state has allowed a Jewish city in Samaria to expand beyond its municipal boundaries.

The expansion was part of the agreement with the residents of the Ulpana neighborhood pursuant to which they were expelled voluntarily from their homes in late June. Another part of that agreement was the construction of 300 new housing units in Beit El - ten times the number of families who were expelled. It is likely that 150-200 of those units will be built in the newly expanded part of the municipality. 'Peace Now' is seething, and undoubtedly the 'Palestinians,' the Europeans and the Obama administration will also seethe once they find out.
Yariv Oppenheimer, executive director of Peace Now, said that to the best of his knowledge, the land on which the Border Police base was located was state land, and did not belong to the nearby Palestinian village of Dura al-Qara.

Still, he attacked the expansion plan, which he said awarded a prize to settlers from Beit El who had built the Ulpana outpost without permits on private Palestinian property.

“They broke the law, and now they are getting more space from the government,” Oppenheimer said.

He added that expanding the boundary line of a settlement also flew in the face of Israeli pledges to the international community not to take more land for West Bank settlements.

But Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has supported settler construction on state land. He has, however, taken a stand against unauthorized Jewish building on private Palestinian property.
It's time to admit the reality that the 'peace process' has failed and to stop keeping 22% of Israel's land mass and 10% of its population in limbo. Nineteen years is long enough. We cannot wait forever.

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At 2:10 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

"State Lands" means Israel owns it now, Jordan owned it from '?? to '67, and the Ottomans before that? And is part or all of it one of those area that the Jewish Agency, JNF, or Jewish individuals bought from someone along the way? Do you think any agency or organization will write this up and put it on the internet so we can link to it?


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