by Gideon Allon and Israel Hayom Staff
Under the Oslo Accords, Area C of Judea and Samaria is under full Israeli control, but "since 2008, the Palestinian Authority has been making considerable takeover efforts," MK says
Area C makes up about 60% of Judea and Samaria and some
150,000 Palestinians live thereIllustration: AFP
The Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee's Subcommittee on Judea and Samaria held an emergency session Sunday on "the Palestinian Authority's strategic takeover of Area C," which, under the 1993 Oslo Accords, is under full Israeli civil and security control.
"Since 2008, the Palestinian Authority has been making considerable efforts to take over Area C," subcommittee chairman Habayit Hayehudi MK Moti Yogev said.
"Taking control of these territories is part of the PA's strategic concept," he continued. "It has even established an official ministry to oversee its activities in Area C. Meanwhile, our own government isn't doing enough to monitor this issue and stop it."
Kobi Eliraz, the Defense Ministry's secretary of settlement affairs, noted that "the Defense Ministry is becoming far more aware of the situation in Area C, as are the relevant decision makers, as it is a strategic, open-area sphere."
"The defense establishment is familiar with the PA's attempts to take over the area," he said, adding that Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman was "pursuing operative, legal and administrative measures to stop it. We have an orderly work plan in place that includes clear objectives."
Eliraz noted that Israel has been largely successful in stopping the phenomenon of the European Union illegally funding modular housing for Palestinians in Area C.
"We have stopped this. It almost doesn't exist anymore," he said.
Col. Uri Mendes, deputy head of the Civil Administration, said the agency was holding monthly meetings on illegal Palestinian construction in Area C.
"There is almost no illegal construction or land infiltration that is not recognized," he said, adding that enforcement action against illegal Palestinian construction in Area C was suspended during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.
Gideon Allon and Israel Hayom Staff
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