by Shimon Cohen
The intelligence report on the PA takeover of state lands shows us a dangerous, persistent and systematic seizure of Israel’s lands. This is the price we pay for the lack of sovereignty.
Shortly before the end of the previous government’s term, the Intelligence Ministry, headed by then-Minister Eli Cohen, initiated a special report on the PA’s systematic takeover of state lands in Area C.
A special team of senior officials in the Intelligence Ministry was convened to work on the report. The report can now serve as a tool for the Israeli government to stop this dangerous phenomenon. Among other people, it is Atty. Avihai Boaron, a resident of Amihai in the Binyamin district, who is behind the initiative to write the report .In an interview with Arutz 7, Boaron spoke about the phenomenon and the urgency to act against it and put a stop to it.
“In Amihai we were alerted to this story when we discovered that at a distance of a few hundred meters from the town, and fifty meters from the town’s fence, they were establishing a town with asphalt roads and construction plots, and the builder was selling plots of land. We followed up and discovered that in many totally pristine areas, in Bruchin, Ariel and others, they are establishing towns that are being built far from every other Palestinian town”.
“We found that this phenomenon was happening all over Judea and Samaria. A large Palestinian town is being built on a large ridge over Ma’ale Levona. We understood that the PA is engaging in a campaign of building new, additional towns and it is doing this especially in close proximity to Israeli towns and Israeli traffic arteries”, says Boaron, noting two towns that are being built over the junction of the old British Police station, a central junction on Route 60.
He presents another example of this in the Palestinian strangling of Route 5 descending to the Valley, “This is an important and broad artery for all Israeli citizens, not only for the settlements. This road is becoming strangled by illegal construction, with the goal of creating the sense of suffocation, to erase the sense of security, and the more building there is, the more the pressure will increase for Israel to withdraw from these Israeli junctions and locations that are difficult to secure, and this is the PA’s direction.
Boaron says that “even now, Israel is withdrawing from intersections that are difficult to secure, such as on the road between Ofrah and Kochav Hashahar. Anyone who wants to travel must go around, but by Israel withdrawing from these intersections, it allows the PA to take over more and more plots of land. This is the claim arising from the intelligence report that we initiated and was promoted by the previous minister of Intelligence, Eli Cohen”.
“This is a strategic matter. The PA is taking over more and more land and is changing the relationship between itself and Israel. There will also be an effect on the Jerusalem envelope and on the towns in the center of the Land. It is a gradual process, showing how they are taking over more and more thousands of dunams”. Boaron describes the importance of the report thus: “This report was not done by external NGOs or political organizations, with all due respect to that sort of organizations. This report came directly from the Israeli government and investigators from the Intelligence Ministry, and it says for the first time that the PA aims to connect all the islands of population in Areas A and B into one territorial contiguity, through east Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley, to create a continuity of Arab concentration of population in Israel, i.e., the Triangle, the Lower Galilee and the Negev and to create one de facto Palestinian territory from the northern Negev to the Galilee”.
“Time is working against us”, he states. “The PA is continuing to increase its control over the territory and this matter is not connected to whether our government is Right or Left, but rather, to the question of who holds Israel’s security as the highest priority. The report creates tools that allow the State of Israel’s operational levels, the army, the Civil Administration and others, to arm themselves with tools that will stop the Palestinian takeover of Judea and Samaria”.
“The report states that the goal of the takeover is to erode Israeli control in Jerusalem and the area east of the Green Line, to strangle traffic junctions and towns, including large towns such as Beit El, Ofrah and Othniel, which are being increasingly strangled by Palestinian pressure”.