NewsOccupied lands of 1948

The occupation doubles budgets of settlers to monitor Palestinian construction in Area C

The Israeli occupation authorities continue to fight the Palestinian presence in Areas (C) in the occupied West Bank, through an action plan prepared by the Ministry of Settlement of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, which calls for doubling the budgets aimed at monitoring Palestinian construction and expansion in Areas (C).

Haaretz newspaper reported today, Tuesday, that the Ministry of Settlement intends to double the budgets that will be transferred to settlement councils in the West Bank, and these budgets will be used in order to monitor and document construction for Palestinians in Area C, as this was included in the general budget for the years 2023 and 2024.

According to the newspaper, a budget of 40 million shekels will be allocated to local and regional settlement councils, compared to about 20 million shekels that were allocated in the past.

The Ministry of Settlement is looking forward to doubling the budget that will be allocated to settlers to supply drones and patrols that will monitor Palestinian construction in Area C.

It is noteworthy that in recent years, the so-called “land patrols” have been working and active in the West Bank settlements, which monitor Palestinian construction and agriculture. These patrols submit reports to the “Civil Administration” and the occupation army authorities in order to issue demolition notices and stop work and construction for the Palestinians.

It is noteworthy that the “land patrols” of the settlements do not have powers and executive authority in practice to prevent Palestinian construction and expansion, but their patrols act as an engine to put pressure on the Civil Administration, which reports to the occupation authorities on Palestinian construction and expansion in Area C.

It is noteworthy that the Ministry of Settlement, headed by Tzachi Hanegbi, approved in 2020 a budget of 20 million shekels to monitor Palestinian construction in Area C. However, the budget was allocated and practically allocated to the so-called “land patrols” in the settlements, during the term of the Bennett-Lapid government. .

The newspaper pointed out that during the mandate of the Minister of Settlement and National Tasks, Orit Strok, the budget for “land patrols” for the settlers will be doubled, and this will not be allocated until after the approval of the state budget, because in the absence of a state budget, it is excluded that a double budget is allocated to monitor construction and Palestinian expansion in the area. areas (C).

The budgets that will be transferred to the settlements will be allocated to hiring staff for the patrol departments and purchasing drones, tablets, and vehicles, and large settlements will be able to finance the pensions of 4 full-time guards and four more part-time.

The allocated budget can also be used to employ many volunteers within the national service project, to hold conferences on preventing Palestinian construction and expansion in Area C, and to establish security infrastructure against the implementation of what is called “illegal activities on the ground, such as fencing, building paths and roads.”

It is noteworthy that in recent years, the Civil Administration has also operated a hotline calling on settlers to report Palestinian construction work, which is known in Israel as the “Campaign on Area C”, as part of a plan to empty Area C of Palestinians and annex it to Israeli sovereignty.

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