Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Palestinian takeover of Area C must be stopped, Knesset committee warns - Gideon Allon and Israel Hayom Staff

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 there
Illustration: 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.‎

Area C makes up about 60% of Judea and Samaria, and some 150,000 Palestinians live there.

‎"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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