Sunday, June 3, 2012

Stealing Their Way to Statehood - Part V


by Gil Bringer

This is Part V of a meticulously researched article that describes in detail how Bedouins of the Jordan Valley are used by the Palestinian Authority to take over territory in Area C surreptitiously.

Read Part I here.
Read Part II here.
Read Part III here.
Read Part IV here.

Eighth Stop: A School as an Outpost

In the year 2009 the residents of Kfar-Adumim served a petition against the construction of the Italian regional school that was in the process of being built below their town. The school was intended for the children of the Bedouin tribes that had settled in different outposts in the area and is located right on Route 1. It serves not only the local people: the PA subsidizes transportation for students who live in more distant locations. It seems that here too, the PA endeavors to create facts on the ground using the Bedouin settlements and is willing to spend money towards that goal. The school that was created in that location is not a means to an end - it is a goal in and of itself, which is a declaration of sovereignty on the area.

A demolition order that was issued regarding the place years ago was never implemented, and this, despite the proximity of the school to a main traffic artery and its location in a firing zone, facts that were supposed to have propelled it to the highest priority for implementation. But these are, of course, exactly the same facts why the PA so much wants to leave the school right where it is.

In the year 2010, the court received the position of the civil authority, according to which the school was not to have been not be destroyed until the end of the school year. This, despite the existence of a school nearby in Abu-Dis, which transports children daily from the surrounding area to the school in Han al-Ahmar, and can accommodate all the students of the (Italian) school. The court determined that the school must not be destroyed until the end of June.

June was over and July arrived. August and September passed as well. Again and again the Prosecutor asked for more time to obtain additional approvals for the demolition of the school, approvals that apparently were impossible to obtain while waiting passively until the end of the school year.

In October, the state requested thirty additional days and in the background was the bustle of students returning for the new school year. In November, the officer in charge of coordination of activities in the territories announced that the demolition tender had progressed considerably and had actually passed every phase except for the signature of the Minister of Security. The minister was supposed to sign the permit for the demolition by the end of 2011, the prosecutor declared to the court.

In February of 2012, the prosecutor explained that because of a "technical problem" the document was not brought to the minister of security for his signature. The prosecutor requested 45 additional days. At exactly the same time that the prosecutor served his request for an additional postponement in order to fix the "technical problem", the newspaper "Haaretz" published the information that General Dangot, who is responsible for coordination of activities in the territories, visited the outpost Han al-Ahmar and announced to the residents that he has no intention to demolish the school. These things are consistent with messages that were transmitted by the people of the administration to the residents of Kfar Adumim, who told "Makor Rishon", that the administration is not interested in demolishing the illegally built school.

In a conversation with the spokesman of the coordinator of activities in the territories, we asked to understand how the response of the prosecutor, according to which only a "technical problem" held up the signature of the minister of security on the confirmation to demolish the building,
sits with the words of Dangot himself, who, according to the announcements, is not at all interested in demolishing the building.

In a verbal conversation, the spokesman claimed that the details that were published regarding Dangot in "Haaretz" are not accurate. We asked to know what, nevertheless, Dangot said to the people of Han al-Ahmar, and then the spokesman asked us to send him an email. The email was sent to the correct address but did not merit a response. We assumed that apparently there was a "technical problem" that seemed to revolve around the issue of Han al-Ahmar. At the request of the spokesman, an email was sent again but since then there has been no trace of him. Not an email nor the spokesman. One can only assume that another "technical problem" was responsible.

Meanwhile, in the PA there are no technical problems. Fiyad decided, of course, to take the Bedouin school fully under his auspices, and in the ceremony of tribute that was held last May (2011) Fiyad came to the outpost to congratulate his people.

“You Bedouins are the guardians of the land”, said Fiyad to the residents. “Your persistence in having your children learn in this modest school, that was built by an Italian organization, is a sign of hope for us all. In my visit to the village there is a strong message for the freedom of my people, and for the establishment of a Palestinian state in which the rights of our people will be maintained. In the name of the Palestinian Authority, which aspires in the near future to be the Palestinian state, we call on the international authorities and organizations to protect the rights of the Palestinians.”

This is the final installment of "Stealing Their Way to Statehood".

Next Week: "Double Standards in Judea and Samaria" by Gil Bringer, Part I

Gil Bringer is an attorney who serves as the legal consultant to the Jewish Home faction in the Knesset and co-editor of the "Tzedek" legal supplement to the "Makor Rishon" Hebrew weekly newspaper. Among other things, he deals with the areas of overlap between law and politics, Zionism and good governance. He can be contacted at gil.bringer@gmail.com

Translated from Hebrew by Sally Zahav

Source: Source: Makor Rishon weekly Hebrew newspaper; http://myesha.org.il/?CategoryID=335&ArticleID=5365&Page=1

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors

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