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the settlement program is thriving

VIEWS: 7 PAGES: 40

									                    PALDIS – LDC Report July 2002

          Ideological Settlement in the West Bank:
Areas of Exclusion Enforced Upon the Palestinian Population.
  A Political & Historical Overview Followed by Three Contemporary Case Studies
                                                            Contents
1: Summary
2: The National Imperative
        2:1 Increasing Government Investment
        2:2 The Settlement “Freeze”
        2:3 The Jurisdictional Impact of Israel’s Reoccupation
                   2:3:1 Area E – Exclusion
        2:4 Ben Eliezer’s Shipping Crates
                   2:4:1 Relocating Settler Litter
        2:5 Settlement Over Acquisition
        2:6 Settlement Over Diplomacy – Israel Proper
                   2:6:1 The Case of Halutza Sands
                   2:6:2 The Case of Harish
3: Implementation of Settlement Policy in the Occupied Palestinian Territories
        3:1 The OPT Settlement Movements
        3:2 Affiliation
4: Gush Emunim – Profile of the Leading Settlement Movement
        4:1 Ideological Background
        4:2 Gush Emunim & Party Politics
                   4:2:1 Gush Emunim & The National Religious Party (MAFDAL – NRP)
                   4:2:2 Gush Emunim & The Likud
                   4:2:3 Gush Emunim – Tehiyyeh, Moledet and the “Radical Right”
        4:3 Estimating the Knesset Power of Gush Emunim
        4:4 Gush Emunim Settlements
        4:5 Absorption to Gush Emunim Sites
                   4:5:1 Immigration to OPT Settlements in General
        4:6 Gush Emunim and the Sharon – Peres Government
        4:7 Gush Emunim and the New Outposts
5: Outposts, Areas of Exclusion and the Indigenous Population
        5:1 Ideological Settlement as an Anti-Palestinian Weapon
        5:2 The Case of the Jenin Cantons
                   5:2:1 The Eastern Canton
                   5:2:2 The Western Canton
                   5:2:3 The Settlements Dividing the Cantons
        5:3 Gush Emunim: Outposts of Outposts
                   5:3:1 Einav – Avnei Hefetz
                    5:3:2 Einav’s New Outposts
                    5:3:3 Einav’s Outposts & the Military

        5:4 Mevo Dotan – Ganim: Lost Outposts?
        5:5 Gush Emunim: Outposts of Outposts of Outposts
                   5:5:1 The Talmon Cluster
                   5:5:2 The Talmon Settlers & The Military
                             5:5:2:1 The Veteran Outposts and Preparations for Slaughter
                             5:5:2:2 The New Outposts: “Let The Young Men Now Arise and Play Before Us.”
                             5:5:2:3 Neve Tzuff – Exploiting the Exclusion Zone – June 2002
                   5:5:3 Options for a Talmon – Modi’in Merger
                             5:5:3:1 Demographic Considerations in Annexing the Talmon Cluster
6: Conclusions




                                                                                                           2
                                                   List of Maps

1 The Proposed Halutza Sands Settlements
2 Area of Exclusive Gush Emunim Settlement in the West Bank in the Context of the Oslo Period
3 The Sa Nur – Homesh Settlement Corridor, Jenin
4 Einav Settlement Expansion, 2002, Tulkarm Governorate
5 Einav and Surrounds – Areas of Exclusion, 2002
6 Settler Activity in the Northern Talmon Cluster Exclusion Zone – June 2002
7 The Talmon Cluster – Areas of Exclusion and Annexation Options, 2002



                                                Tables & Graphs

1 Official Contribution to OPT Settlement Programs by Major Affiliated Settlement Movements
2 Actual Contribution by Amana/Gush Emunim and the NRP to West Bank Settlement
3 Gush Emunim Support for the ‘National Union’ in the 1999 Elections – Selected Settlements
4 Relative Sizes of Amana/Gush Emunim Settlements in the OPT (Excl. East Jerusalem)
5 Settlers by Region of Origin & Direct Immigrants to OPT Settlements
6 Gush Emunim’s Relative Contribution to Outpost Erection During the Sharon Govt.
7 Land Loss in the Homesh – Sa Nur Corridor
8 Land Loss in the Talmon Cluster & Connecting Corridor
9 Annexation in the Talmon Area – Demographic Prospects




                                                                                                3
1: Summary
The reassessment undertaken recently in Israel, both in terms of the public consensus and the platforms of
the two major political blocs, of the likely future of the occupied Palestinian territories and their indigenous
population, will lead to a long-term (re)occupation of much of the OPT.

In this ensuing period, permanent and radical alterations to the future options of the Palestinian people will
be made. Much of these will occur in the realms of leadership, law and jurisdiction. Many others will attack
the remaining territories where the Palestinians have long been struggling to maintain a safe and viable
presence.

According to Israeli estimations new settlements are presently being erected at a rate of every 11 days.
The government has recently pledged figures potentially in excess of NIS 500 million to new settlement
housing. The level of exclusion currently enforced upon the Palestinian population by the settlers
themselves affects over 110 Palestinians per-settler in many areas of the West Bank. All of these figures
are rising exponentially and are not reversible in any foreseeable future.

Housing construction in particular has been spurred by the international support granted the annexation
proposals of past governments and its geographic concentration is hence directly related to the positions
adopted by the ‘honest brokers’ of past agreements. Immigrants from America and Europe absorbed
directly to settlements in the OPT over the decade of the Oslo process now make up over 10% of all
settlers outside East Jerusalem.

In the following pages, a detailed examination of the mechanics of ideological OPT settlement is offered.
Ideological settlement movements are responsible for the establishment of over half of all settlements,
including the largest and most damaging sites. Historically they are the most potent force in Israeli
extraparliamentary politics, and are increasing their power consistently, with more recruitable support in any
of the last 4 Knessets than either ruling party.

Ideological settlement accounts for an uninterrupted exclusive domain marking virtually the entire West
Bank interior and as a result this area is characterized by incessant points of friction, vandalism, murder
and expansion. Yet the bodies responsible for these settlements are highly effective within the normative
Israeli political system, the international Zionist movement and the social/welfare structures of the Jewish
state, with a significant level of influence over the school curriculum of at least a quarter of all Israeli
students.

The purpose of this paper is in part to dispel the notion that the messianic ultra-nationalist current – which
enjoys the active support of less than 0.5% of the world’s Jews – is a marginal or reversible component of
the wider settlement program. Rather, it will be shown that the radical movement has long been, and
remains, the most effective and successful Israeli weapon against Palestinian aspirations and as such is
the state’s favored tool. This paper will also provide examples showing current and past governments to
have prevented the ‘repatriation’ of those few ‘unwilling’ settlers prepared to return to Israel proper.

Three examples of the current and future impact of ideological settlement in the northern West Bank are
given, with a series of detailed maps and statistics indicating the scope of the damage inflicted by these
settlers as well as evidence illustrating the dynamics existing between them, the army and the political
mainstream.

In addition, this paper suggests a means of gauging the real impact of settlements, by adopting a system
relating to the de facto exclusion of Palestinians from their land. This system compliments the data more
usually presented relating to housing starts and expropriations and offers a likely vision of the long-term
results of the increased militarization of the settlement program.

In 12 weeks, thousands of Palestinian olive farmers will be excluded from their village land through fear,
intimidation and force for the third consecutive season – confirming areas of unfettered settler dominance
over much of the West Bank hinterland and stripping the rural communities of their rightful economic,
cultural and historic relationship with the land. The maps and data in the following pages serve to
underscore the fact that this is not a temporary byproduct of military escalation but a potentially permanent
redrawing of the map of the West Bank along the lines of Jewish – non-Jewish access. As such, it is an
accelerating process of ethnic cleansing and demands rapid external intervention.




                                                                                                              4
2: The National Imperative
2:1 Increasing Government Investment
Labor leader Ben Eliezer’s reshuffling of settlement litter in recent days does not amount to an evacuation
of settlement outposts by any standards. (See below) Over the last 18 months at least 45 entirely new
settlement sites have been established in the West Bank. According to this high rate of physical expansion
- if not in terms of population growth - the settlement program is thriving under the rigors of the current
conflict. There is no sign that the Israeli government, or any of its constituent elements, is being compelled
to stem this settlement drive and it appears certain to continue. If the settlement councils are to be believed
- and there is no manifest reason to doubt them - the army, and DM Ben Eliezar in particular, either already
                                                                               1
have approved or are in the process of approving new settlement outposts.
Israel's economic worries have had no immediate impact on the expansion of existing settlements, the
renewal of additional Intifada-period state benefits or on the availability of military resources to protect the
newly sprouting sites and established settlements. In the first half of 2002, the government authorized a
succession of grants and incentives on top of regular settlement funding, prompting one MK to remark:
                                                                          2
"The poorer the state becomes, the richer the settlements become." Grants above and beyond regular
budget line items include an additional NIS 100 million for "supplementary education programs," and NIS
79.46 million for Jordan Valley and Golan Heights water, bypass roads and "young peoples' grants." The
bridge being built to connect the Gush Katif settlements in Gaza is costing an estimated NIS 14 million;
investment grants for OPT (excluding Jerusalem) businesses have risen 12% since 2000; and OPT (excl.
                                                                                               3
Jerusalem) housing benefits now cost the Israeli taxpayer at least NIS 300 million annually.
Figures released by the government concerning its plan to build some 1,000 additional housing units in the
Jerusalem area, equate individual housing units with an approved up-front state investment of up to NIS
500,000. Thus, sums exceeding half a billion NIS are potentially being assigned to the program in the
                      4
Jerusalem area alone.
2:2 The Settlement “Freeze”
The long-term alternative to the reoccupation is obviously a return to some form of interim negotiating
process. In this, clearly not imminent, eventuality, the subsequent expansion of current settlements by at
least 400% has already been approved by the US administration as part of a 'formula' drafted with Shimon
Peres, which the Israeli government considers the last word on any future 'settlement freeze'.
The agreement reached between Peres and US Sec. of State Colin Powell in June 2001 has not been
published in any comprehensive form. However, according to media reports the guidelines for the
‘settlement freeze formula’ include postponing the issue again to final-status negotiations. This is in itself
tantamount to a rejection of the issue, given the fact that the government Peres represents - 6 weeks prior
to the announcement of the plan - declared its intention to pursue a “non-belligerency agreement for a
lengthy and indefinite period, in an agreement that does not have a timetable...” rather than a process
aimed at reaching conclusive talks. Since that date Peres has announced that Israel will have to “create an
appropriate partner,” for such an agreement first – this prolonging the whole matter way beyond any
foreseeable future.

Other ‘guidelines’ for the freeze make its observance on the Israeli side “contingent upon implementation of
all other terms of the initiative [these undefined]”. The crux of the potential freeze is the Israeli pledge that
“no additional land will be expropriated for the purpose of construction.” According to data released recently
by B’Tselem, the amount of land currently under settlement jurisdiction amounts to 2.34 million dunums - of
                                                                 5
which only 96,900 dunums are currently within built up areas. Thus, a ‘non-expropriation’ agreement is of
itself without meaning. Further, the clause “for the purpose of construction” affords Israel considerable
leeway should it feel the need to confiscate for military or other purposes (and thereafter be free to re-zone
to residential status the affected land). Such expropriations are occurring, and settlers are establishing

1
  The Binyamin Regional Council, in May 2002, announced a campaign to settle 1,000 new families in the new outposts in that area. According
to Council head, Pinchas Wallerstein, “every outpost has a permit from the Defense Ministry or relevant bodies.”
Arutz Shev’a, Binyamin Wants You!, May 28 2002.
2
  Meretz MK Mussi Raz quoted in Ha’Aretz, Settlements get Another NIS 20 M, May 8 2002.
3
  Ha’Aretz, The Settlement Burden on the Budget, 27 December 2001.
4
  The extraordinary figure of NIS 500,000 per unit is according to sums approved by the Knesset Finance Committee on May 28 2002. However,
it remains unclear as to whether or not this level of funding will be consistently approved for all 957 units announced, or just the primary stage.
The funds include infrastructure and parallel development funding.
Ha’Aretz, Panel Okays Funds for New Settlement Homes, May 29 2002.
The 957 settlement units announced by the government for the Jerusalem area are to be built in Efrat (339), Beitar Illit (244), Ma’ale Adumim
(224), Gev’a Binyamin [Adam] (76) and Har Adar (74). Further construction has been approved in the Tel Zion (adjacent to Kokh av Ya’akov)
site, though it is unclear how much this amounts to.
Ha’Aretz, Ministry Planning 957 New W.Bank Homes, May 20 2002.
5
  Ha'Aretz, Sharon, US Work Out Settlement Freeze Deal, June 6 2001.
Ha’Aretz, PM: We’re Not Building Settlements, May 27 2002.
Ha’Aretz, Interview With PM Ariel Sharon, April 12 2001.
B’Tselem, Land Grab: Israel’s Settlement Policy in the West Bank, Jerusalem: B’Tselem, May 2002, p.100.
                                                                                                                                                 5
                                                   6
civilian sites on military seized land. Even should the Peres-Powell formula be generously interpreted to
imply no further construction beyond current approved municipal planning areas - as certain reports
suggested at the time - the same B’Tselem figures indicate that this would still afford an eventual
quadrupling of built-up settlements areas; all under the banner of an internationally legitimized “settlement
freeze formula.”
Peres’ qualifications for the negotiation of a freeze formula to Israel’s liking are irrefutable. In the single
year he held the premiership (1995-1996), his government issued 3,942 permits for additional settlement
housing. Rivaled only by Ehud Barak’s 3,575 units (over 18 months), Peres is the undisputed champion of
                                            7
OPT settlement housing in the Oslo period.
Word of the Peres-Powell ‘formula’ caused predictable outcry amongst the settler leadership at the time,
but was met with scorn by those in Israel who recognized its ‘limitations’. Meron Benvenisti described the
‘freeze’ as an “empty joke” and reminded those who chose to take it seriously that the settlement program
is no longer “a demographic-physical matter that can be measured by the number of populated
apartments… it is a multi-headed Hydra controlling millions of dunums, water sources, roads, economic
                                 8
endeavors [and] huge budgets…”

2:3 The Jurisdictional Impact of Israel’s Reoccupation
Standing beside Ariel Sharon in Jerusalem’s Zion Square one night in November 2000, Moledet MK Benny
Elon promised a fevered crowd of racist supporters that “there is no such thing as Area A, Area B or Area
C – there is only Area ‘Aleph’ – Eretz Israel.” 20 months later, and - more exactly - 1 day after Pres. Bush
presented his myopic new ‘vision’ of the Middle East, Ariel Sharon, Shimon Peres and even Yossi Sarid,
each fell into line behind Elon’s declaration and raced to erase forever the physical and political
manifestations of the preceding decade of Palestinian – Israeli negotiations.

As of March 2002, the jurisdictional division of the West Bank into areas of partial autonomy and exclusive
Israeli control ceased to be operational in virtually the entire area. DCO cooperation had already been
called off and the limited Palestinian civil control exercised in Area B rendered meaningless. By June 2002,
the terms A, B and C no longer refer to more than a historical geopolitical map which has yet to be replaced
by one indicating the real extent to which the minimal civil liberties of the Palestinian people have been
much further confined.

However, new territorial divisions in the West Bank are already taking shape and follow distinctive patterns
which in themselves are related to Oslo II cartography. For this reason it is still worth holding onto those
relics, if only to readjust the terminology defining their shading.

The Oslo divisions followed ethnic lines of exclusion and as such separated the (majority) Jewish/Settler
areas (Area C) from areas where non-Jews were deemed too numerous and potentially able to exert their
rights over infrastructure, natural resources or elevated areas close to settlements or Jewish-only transport
routes. This second area was placed under Palestinian civil responsibility and kept under Israeli military
occupation (Area B). Only in the third area, the tiny urban pockets once called Area A, did a minority of
Palestinians enjoy some liberties – including relatively improved rights to engage in commercial activity,
publish political material and enjoy their freedom of worship. In addition these areas enjoyed near total
safety from settler or other racial attacks. In these pockets, Palestinian limited self-rule was dependent on a
63% financial input from the Israeli government (VAT returns), exercised no control whatsoever over
natural resources such as water, and was barred from developing an independent welfare sector.
Nonetheless, freedom from the totality of occupation and, notably, the race crimes which prevailed
throughout the Area B and C sectors, did result in a partial sense of liberty in these small cantons.

During the Oslo period (in this sense, 1994/5 – 2001) a de facto situation was created on the ground that
was unchecked in part due to the hope the Interim Agreements would genuinely be temporary. This
situation must be understood in terms of ethnicity, for that is how it was created – in Area C, Jewish settlers
had exclusive and privileged freedoms; they enjoyed a doubling in their number, vast infrastructure and
security boons and became accustomed to a status quo drawn up by themselves and endorsed by their
government in the Oslo II Accord of 1995. After drawing up that map it was concluded by the negotiators
                                                                     9
that, “the situation in the settlements has never been better.”         In the following period, the improved
6
  One example being the caravans occupied by Shilo-Eli settlers adjacent to the antenna erected on Jabal Batn Halawe, north of Sinjil village,
Ramallah Governorate. The expropriation was made in early 2001 by the army in order to establish the antenna, but the site’s northern slope is
now occupied by a civilian settlement ‘foothold.’ No additional expropriation order has been issued, nor have any ‘re-zoning’ procedures been
taken.
7
  See Jerusalem Post, What’s Really Happening in the Settlements? May 30 1998.
Also, PASSIA Diary 2002, p. .268.
8
  Ha’Aretz Op-Ed by Meron Benvenisti, Settlement Freeze and Empty Joke, 31 May 2001.
9
  The cartography of Oslo II was accepted by the Palestinians with insignificant (or symbolic) alterations. It was drawn by at least 30 military
officers residing in West Bank and Gaza settlements according to their timetable and strategic positions. Later, when accused of not being
generous enough to the settlers, negotiator Yossi Beilin clarified: “The Olso II agreement was delayed for months in order to guarantee that all the
settlements would remain intact and that the settlers would have maximum security. This entailed an immense financial investment.”
                                                                                                                                                   6
situation, mass expropriations and parallel limitations place on Palestinian movement within or between the
population pockets of Area B and A reinforced a situation granting a web of settler jurisdiction throughout
the OPT while limiting the indigenous non-Jewish majority to over 200 cantons – most of these being
defined by the built-up areas of individual villages.

In short, the division created, in a very real and tangible way, areas of exclusion, far more than areas of
autonomy. By 2000, the total area of exclusion (or Area C) was over 59% of the West Bank and roughly
38% of the Gaza Strip. Enforcing the exclusion was primarily the responsibility of the military, though the
settlers in the ideological settlements of the central West Bank highlands were invited to expand their militia
patrols over all “areas of settlement”; a vague and shifting jurisdictional limit which allowed many clusters of
non-contiguous settlements to expand their patrols over huge inter-lying areas of non-Jewish ownership
and residence. In time – and this situation lasted from 1995 until 2001 – these intervening areas of
previously unsettled/unexpropriated and reasonably secure Palestinian residence and ownership were
absorbed in the de facto areas of exclusion. Agricultural activity, local transport, and wider socio-economic
communication ties existing under all prior forms of occupation ceased to be viable and vaster and vaster
tracts of land lay fallow or became simply too dangerous to cultivate.

2:3:1 Area E – Exclusion

Since the cancellation of the peace process, and reoccupation of the PA areas, the limited and intermittent
access afforded Palestinians to their lands within Area C or on the borders of Areas B and A has been
revoked. Checkpoints now confine the non-Jewish population to their immediate built-up areas, whereafter
settler and military exclusivity reigns. In many cases this effectively reduces villages of 6 –7,000 inhabitants
to land areas equaling less than 10% of their ownership and places the remaining 90% within the
militarized remit of the settlers and the Israeli army (see examples). In doing so, the exclusion policy need
not rely on the legally tiresome and slow methods of expropriation and so leaves little by way of a paper
trail and affords total deniability in the unlikely event of some international objection being raised.

The enforcement of the 1995-2001 levels of exclusivity now represents a ‘withdrawal option’ for Israel
rather than an unbearable and degrading interim situation. Having reoccupied the remaining territories and
been politely invited to consider “conceding” to a withdrawal to pre-September 2000 lines once it has
“create[d] an appropriate partner,” Israel will consider a return to the prior areas of exclusion a major
                                                                                                    10
concession and has already made it clear this is not an objective even being considered at present.

In the new interim – a period that will likely last longer than the Oslo period – expanded areas of exclusion
will be drawn. Civil liberties, all be they grossly limited, may eventually be allowed in some population
centers, but the exclusion of Palestinians from their land and the expansion of the jurisdiction thereupon of
the settlers and the army will increase the de facto area of exclusion to well over the current 60-70% of the
West Bank. In terms of reversing this status in the future, it should be recalled that the maps of the Oslo
period catered to settlers and settlements and that no Israeli government has ever evacuated a single
established settlement, even when – in 1994 – there seemed a shadow of a possibility of doing so. Settler
leaders, their political partners and supporters, will recognize the boon of exclusion – its legal advantages
over expropriation and construction – and rally to increase its scope while fighting hard to prevent its
erosion.
2:4 Ben Eliezer’s Shipping Crates
In 2001, current DM Binyamin Ben Eliezer won what amounted to an embarrassing vote-rigging contest in
the northern Druze villages of Israel to take control of the Labor Party. Since that ignominious episode, he
and FM Peres have fought to excuse their collaboration in the staged demolition of their party’s already
flimsy ideological platform and in the rapid destruction of the political horizon vis-à-vis the Palestinians.
Haim Ramon, in early 2002, detected a potential career opening in the growing public disenchantment over
the deteriorating security situation within Israel proper and chose to challenge Ben Eliezer for the party
leadership. Ramon’s unsophisticated challenge came in the form of a forked assault on both the ideological
bankruptcy of the party and on the failure of the DM to implement the planned separation fence project thus
far. In both instances, Ramon’s position was out of synch with both the chronology of events and the facts
on the ground. The ideological bankruptcy of the Labor party predates the current government and the
construction of the fence has been supported by more Likud MKs than Labor MKs since the issue was first
broached – FM Peres being among the ‘anti-fence’ block.
Nonetheless, faced with a catalogue of ostensibly Likud policies being implemented in his name and
growing calls for a separation from the ruling coalition, Ben Eliezer was obliged to refute at least some of



As quote above: Beilin when Dep. FM, in Ma’Ariv, 27 September 1995.
10
   Shimon Peres, Nobel Prize winner and head of the Peres Peace Center, suggesting Israel should “create and appropriate partner” in the OPT,
speaking to the 250 Labor convention attendees who could be bothered to hear him, quoted in Ha’Aretz, July 2 2002.
                                                                                                                                                7
                                                         11
the accusations of being “Arik Sharon’s tail.” He did so by relocating some empty shipping containers and
a disused steel lookout tower in the West Bank.
The old ‘Zim’ containers and several empty caravans once used for settling Ethiopian immigrants and now
in poor shape, had been placed in areas between settlements and outposts by Amana (Gush Emunim) and
YESHA leaders over the last 18 months with the sole purpose of affording Ben Eliezer the opportunity they
anticipated he would be forced to exploit. They were relocated by YESHA and Gush Emunim staff and
settlers in accordance with an arrangement negotiated in secrecy and as yet not publicized, a day prior to
the Labor Party annual convention. Three sentences into his opening address to the convention, Ben
Eliezer told the convention delegates, “If we [Labor] weren’t in the government… outposts would not be
evacuated…”
But no outposts have been really evacuated by Ben Eliezer or YESHA and the fabrication was only flimsy
enough to last the 36 hours necessary for him to easily secure the party leadership again and block calls
for quitting the coalition. It was the second time in 18 months that Ben Eliezer lied concerning the
evacuation of settlement outposts – the previous time he picked a round 15 non-existent sites; this time
only 10 (some claims – 11), along with a bold declaration of intent concerning a further 9.
2:4:1 Relocating Settler Litter
What really happened can only be pieced together from the statements of the settlers themselves and the
facts as they are on the ground after the ‘evacuation.’ According to the DM itself, the ‘evacuations’ included
asking a settler to drive his truck – in which he slept – a little closer to the established Elon Moreh
settlement (Nablus); the removal of a discarded shipping crate lying 1.6km south of Nahliel settlement
(Ramallah area); the removal of three empty shipping crates near Beit Hagai (Hebron); two sites near
Adam settlement (Jerusalem); 2 disused caravans near Beit Ayin (Bethlehem); a site near Pnei Hever
(Hebron); a further site in Gush Etzion (Bethlehem); one near Kedar (Jerusalem); and a site with 9
caravans near Ma’ale Mikhmas (Jerusalem).
Of these sites, only three can be called outposts – that at Ma’ale Mikhmas, and one each alongside Beit
‘Ayin and Beit Hagai. The other 7 locations – with the exception of the wayward trucker in Nablus – are no
more than settlement ‘litter’ placed on hilltops to distract from real expansion and outpost activity. Turning
to the three actual sites, Ma’ale Mikhmas’ outpost – Neve Erez – has not in reality been dismantled at all;
the Beit Hagai site has been ‘relocated’ to alongside the settlement proper and the Beit ‘Ayin site was
likewise relocated.
The relocations have been undertaken voluntarily by the settlement movements and are apparently to be
temporary. According to an Israeli commentator on settler affairs and a close associate of the settler
leaders, the agreed relocations are pending approval of final authorization and a subsequent relocation to a
                     12
final resting place.

The other sites either did not exist – as in the case of the Adam ‘outposts’ – or were placed there as so-
called “dummy outposts” by Amana and YESHA. During the process of the evacuation, Arutz Shev’a – the
main settler radio and internet news source – fired none of its customary rhetoric Ben Eliezer’s way and
waited calmly until after the Labor Convention was underway before reassuring their hard-liners that the
evacuations “were fabricated,” and that the theatrical removals came long after the settler movement had,
“assumed in advance that the time would come when this bold Zionist venture would no longer be
                                                                       13
accepted, and we would have to make our sacrifice… dummy outposts”
The exact details of the contract between the settlers and the DM will remain unknown until a move is
made to truly evacuate a populated settlement and YESHA feels obliged to react. However, the move did
not come as a surprise to the settlement bodies and came after World Zionist Organization Settlement
Division leaders, Amana (Gush Emunim) Directors, YESHA heads and the DM himself met individually and
collectively to select sites and prepare responses. The response of the settler hard-core was reasonably
restrained, indicating certain reassurances had clearly been given regarding the more than 80 other
outposts existing by now – over half of which have been erected in the last 18 months. ‘Reasonably
restrained,’ translated in the more radical settlement zones to acts of violence, crop burning and
                                                                                                                 14
intimidation, but in the 48 hours following the relocation of the litter, no Palestinian was killed by settlers.
One additional reason for this ‘restraint’ is that during the negotiations over the evacuation, YESHA
managed to secure a long-awaited decision from the DM to reinforce their militias and create a new training
camp designed to produce army and settler units with skills specific to the ‘defense’ of settlers and
settlements. The camp will run alongside or within the existing Lachish base and will offer military training



11
   Avraham Burg (out-rigged in the 2001 leadership fiasco and aligned with Ramon in the latest brouhaha) speaking at the Labor Party
Convention, quoted in Ha’Aretz, 3 July 2002.
12
   Nadav Shragai, writing in Ha’Aretz, Yesha Sacrifices Trailers in a Larger Game, 1 July 2002.
13
   National Union MK and Gaza Coast Regional Settler Council head, Zvi Hendel speaking on Arutz Shev’a, quoted in Ha’Aretz, MK Hendel
Confirms Outpost Fakery, 2 July 2002.
14
   50 dunums of Sinjil village wheat was set alight on 2 July by settlers from Shilo and Eli settlements.
                                                                                                                                        8
to civilians, militia members and army units together, in what is surely the latest and gravest indication of
                                           15
the militarization of the exclusion zones.
Ben Eliezer’s personal evacuations are devoid of meaning in the context of ongoing settlement expansion.
And although it remains faintly amusing to see the founding party of the Jewish state reduced to the politics
of rusty shipping crates, the fact that even this pitiful farce came as a result of petty party squabbles and
under no pressure whatsoever from outside players, is a stark reminder of the complicity of western
democracies in the ongoing rape of the Palestinian people and their land.
Every single site or claimed site ‘evacuated’ by the settlers is off-limits to the Palestinian population by
virtue of the settlers, their settlements and the existing outposts, regardless of what physical structure
remains. Thus, the removal of a single abandoned shipping crate between Talmon and Nahliel may carry
                                                                                                   2
some weight amongst the Labor party’s lost flock, but the site itself is surrounded by a 40km area of
scattered outposts, settlements and bypass roads wherein no Palestinian can safely venture (see p.38).
The Palestinians of the OPT are naturally understanding of efforts undertaken to tidy up the Palestinian
landscape, but are significantly more anxious to themselves secure their inalienable right to be a part of
that landscape.
2:5 Settlement Over Acquisition
Two months after taking office, PM Ariel Sharon told reporters, ”look, people today don’t get so excited by
                                                                             16
the idea of ‘another dunam...and another dunam’ but I still get excited.” But Sharon would be unwise to
get unduly excited over each and every dunam of OPT land settled, expropriated, leveled or closed by the
military, and he is mistaken in thinking himself alone in his appetite for Palestinian land.
Over the 24 months following the signing of the Declaration of Principles, the Rabin government presided
                                                                                       2 17
over West Bank confiscations averaging 220 dunams per day and totaling 170km . Recently prepared
                                                                                                            18
statistics show the territory today falling under settlement control to near half the West Bank total area.
The overwhelming bulk of this land was expropriated or re-zoned beyond Palestinian jurisdiction more than
20 years ago.
Thus, the principal objective (and more likely cause for excitement) for subsequent Israeli administrations
has been the legitimization and reinforcement of existing possessions and not necessarily new
acquisitions. This is not to say that confiscation has not continued. Expropriations for ‘military’ purposes
and bypass roads have been a persistent and defining characteristic of the last decade and continue
unabated. However, in most cases, settlement expansion has drawn on existing land reserves, expelling
unwitting Palestinian landowners but without the need to expropriate the land in question due to its prior
(and quiet) confiscation.
2:6 Settlement Over Diplomacy – Israel Proper
     “We have conquered territories, but without settlement they have no decisive value.... Settlement - that is
                                                the real conquest.”
                                                           David Ben Gurion 1949

                     “The War of Independence has not ended. No. 1948 was just one chapter.”
                                                              Ariel Sharon 2001

Israeli strategists are not mistaken in identifying settlement as an intrinsic component in defining the
territory of the Jewish State. Historic precedents, from the 1947 UN Partition Plan through to the ‘Clinton
Parameters’ of December 2000, have reinforced the belief that through manifesting a presence - no matter
how small and unjustly - in or on Palestinian land, eventual sovereignty is achieved, recognized and
rendered irreversible.

The ‘tool’ of settlement, rather than that of diplomacy, is Israel’s first choice in creating, preserving and
expanding a legitimized sovereign presence in the region. As such, its seemingly extraordinary cost - in
                                                                                             19
terms of political awkwardness as much as financial investment - is readily justified. Contemporary
examples of this overarching pursuit of the fait accompli are not limited to the OPT.

15
   Arutz Shev’a, Army Preparing to Protect Yesha Communities, 1 July 2002.
16
   Ha’Aretz, Interview With PM Ariel Sharon, April 12 2001.
17
   Land and Water Establishment (LAWE), Fraud, Intimidation, Oppression: The Continued Theft of Palestinian Land, Jerusalem: Land and
Water Establishment, 1995, p. 1.
18
   B’Tselem op. cit. p.100. B’Tselem reports that some 42% of the West Bank falls under settlement jurisdiction. When the 5.4% of the West
Bank comprising the illegally annexed East Jerusalem area, the excluded territorial waters of the Dead Sea and the no-man’s land areas around
Latrun and Mod’in are added to this (being 316km2) along with the current ‘closed military’ portions of the southern Hebron region, the total area
off-limits to Palestinians in the West Bank tops 50%.
ARIJ-LRC, What the Withdrawal Percentages Mean, in Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. XXX, No.3, Spring 2001.
19
   Between 1967-1983 Israel invested $500,000 per settler in the West Bank - exclusive of East Jerusalem. Even accounting for optimal long-term
target populations aimed at in master plans then being followed, eventual minimal state up-front investment exceeded $150,000 per settler. These
figures do not include ‘hidden’ costs such as those channeled through the WZO or JNF.
Benvenisti, West Bank Data Project: A Survey of Israel’s Policies, pp. 55-58.
In May 2002, the Knesset Finance Committee put the cost of a single settler unit at NIS 500,000.
                                                                                                                                                9
2:6:1 The Case of Halutza Sands

                                    In May 2001, Israel radio reported on government plans to establish 5 new
                                    towns in the isolated and inhospitable Halutza Sands portion of the western
                                    Negev. By July these plans were approved by the cabinet and in November
                                    2001, the government announced designs to establish the town of Be’er Milka.
                                    The Halutza Sands, it will be recalled, was the area comprising the proposed
                                    ‘land-swap’ package discussed at Taba in January 2001, and hence a portion of
                                    sovereign Israel with an, albeit remote, chance of eventual transfer to a
                                    Palestinian state. In this instance - where sovereign territory Israel is unlikely to
                                    be pressured to evacuate is concerned - the preference for settlement over
                                    future diplomacy could not be more pronounced.

                                    2:6:2 The Case of Harish

                            Costly and unlikely though these settlement plans appear, they are a historical
                            reality in Israel. The so-called “Seven-Stars” plan of 1991 (authored by then
                            Housing Min. Sharon) was intended to break up Arab-Israeli demography and
                            erode the Green Line through the establishment of a string of settlements
                            running along a new ‘Trans-Israel’ highway (Rt. 6). In the most part, the plan
                            was successful; it led to the development of the large Modi’in and Beit Arye
                            settlement blocs and bound the urban ‘Shomron Bloc’ (Salfit - Qalqiliya) sites to
                                                20
high-level communication and industry hubs. However, in pursuing the plan, entire towns were built in
areas unattractive to Israelis due to the undeveloped nature of the surrounding infrastructure provided the
predominantly non-Jewish population at the time. In May 2002, a report was screened in Israel on one such
town - Harish - established in 1992 in the Wadi ‘Ara area of the ‘Little Triangle’. The initial Min. of Housing
development costs exceeded NIS 300 million, yet a decade later, the town - aimed at absorbing 35,000
Israeli Jews - was all but deserted, lacking schools, clinics and services. The head of the local council
admitted, “no one wants to live here... of their own will.” Asked to comment, current Housing Min.
                                                                               21
Sharansky promised that, “there is now great pressure to settle people there.”

3: Implementation of Settlement Policy
3:1 The OPT Settlement Movements
As in Israel, given the extent of existing land reserves, manifesting a physical presence in the OPT today
far exceeds in importance the acquisition of territories. The policy of illegal settlement has - from the
earliest period - been an arena of energetic, often competitive, interplay between the official state-
sanctioned bodies and several radical extra-parliamentary groups. Lines of divergence or coincidence in
policy and action have variously seen the two groupings either at loggerheads or in open connivance. Often
the formulations of one camp have conflicted with that of the other, only to converge at a later date and in a
new political environment. Thus, yesterday’s unplanned outpost becomes tomorrow’s development strategy
cornerstone, and so an uneasy but mutually beneficial relationship is perpetuated.
3:2 Affiliation
Settlement movements are by no means peculiar to the OPT program. The creation of so-called “pure
Jewish settlements,” was adopted as a priority by the World Zionist Organization in 1914. Since that time
the mechanics of implementing policy have become more bureaucratic and absorbed a bewildering
number of committees, councils and funds, but have remained principally the same. Zionist bodies
belonging to political parties or their ‘youth movements’ are called upon (or apply) to provide the “seed”
settlers for settlement projects agreed upon by the government and the WZO Land Settlement Division.
The movement subsequently follows and supports the development of the site/s and is registered as its
“organizational affiliate”, becoming responsible for the running and implementation of government-funded
programs - including housing programs and the introduction of welfare/education services. Naturally, the
organizations involved are not limited to settlement agendas, but represent a political movement with
pedagogic, immigrant absorption and religious/secular goals in line with their particular ideologies.
The obvious political advantages of being granted government support for the development of programs
catering to the socio-economic and cultural needs of entire communities of politically homogenous settlers
led to early competition between the major movements. In time, the surviving bodies became highly

Ha’Aretz, Panel Okays..., Op. Cit., 29 May 2002.
20
    The “Seven-Stars” plan served an additional purpose in easing the Shamir government’s hands with regard to the withholding of US loan
guarantees proportional to its expenditures on OPT settlement; the plan was an intrinsic and massive project aimed primarily at furthering OPT
settlement programs and yet Israel could claim the actual investment was mostly within sovereign territory.
21
   As reported May 6 2002, ‘This Week With Amnon Levi’ Israel Channel 2.
Target population for Harish: Adiv, Asaf & Schwartz, Michal, Sharon’s Star Wars: Israel’s Seven Star Settlement Plan, Jerusalem: Hanitzotz A-
Sharara Publishing House, 1992, p. 6.
                                                                                                                                          10
              effective lobbyists, experienced in recruiting, expanding and promoting their individual goals; many gained
              top-level access to the national leadership at key points in Israel’s history, while others survived by virtue of
                                                                               22
              their direct affiliation with the ruling political parties.          Settlements generally retain their official
              organizational affiliation until they reach a size (3,000) entitling them to independent local council funding,
              whereafter they may or may not opt for independent status, but in any case will transfer the implementation
              duties of the affiliate to the locally elected council. Thus medium-sized sites may no longer profess their
              founding affiliation, but their council representatives will invariably be themselves members or active
                                                                                              23
              supporters of the affiliate organization previously registered with the site . Only very large settlements,
              such as Ma’ale Adumim (once registered as an Amana/Gush Emunim site), where a long period of
              migration and growth has diluted the dominance of the original affiliation, are now in real terms
              “unaffiliated.” The following table illustrates the relative contribution to the settlement program of those
              organizations currently and officially affiliated with individual sites.

                       Official Contribution to OPT Settlement Programs by Major Affiliated Settlement Movements*

         Political Party -                Settlement Movement                  Affiliated        Affiliated       Movement’s         Movement’s          % Of
        Ideological Body                                                      Sites in the       Sites in       Share of Sites in Share of Sites in Movement's
                                                                                  OPT             Israel            OPT With          Israel With     Work Carried
                                                                                                                   Registered         registered       Out in OPT
                                                                                                                Affiliations (117) Affiliations (714)
         The Labor Party              HaKibbutz HaMeuchad - Later                   7               161                 6%               22.5%           4.2%
                                   TAQAM (United Kibbutz Movement)
         The Histadrut                 1: HaMerkaz HaHaqla'i - The                  3                14                2.5%                   2%                17.6%
    (labor federation - linked              Agricultural Center
    to Labor Party to varying        2: Tnu'at HaMoshavim - Moshav                  6               246                 5%                  34.5%                  2.4%
     extents over the years)                    Movement
              Likud                     Herut Settlement Division                   13               17                11%                   2.4%               43.3%
    The National Religious        1: HaKibbutz HaD'ati - The Religious              3                13                2.5%                  1.8%              18.75%
     Party (MAFDAL - NRP)                         Kibbutz
                                  2: HaPo'al HaMizrachi - The Mizrachi              16               77                14%                  10.8%               17.2%
                                                  Worker
         Agudat Israel                     Po'alei Agudat Israel                    3                10                2.5%                  1.4%                  23%
    (United Torah Judaism-
             UTJ)
               Other – Unaffiliated With Single Party
          Gush Emunim                            Amana                              50                2                43%                   0.3%               96.2%
            The IDF                 NAHAL - "Pioneering & Fighting                  6                 3                 5%                   0.4%               66.6%
                                  Youth" (Corps of IDF, recruited from
                                 youth movements; combine agricultural
                                 settlement with military duty - normally
                                     preceding civilian resettlement.)
         "Non-Partisan"             Ihud Haqla'i - Agricultural Union               6                48                 5%                   6.7%               11.1%
                                        Other Minor Organizations                   4               N/A                3.5%                   N/A                  N/A
                                                  TOTAL                            117              591                100%         82.8%**
                                                                                Currently        Currently                          (Remaining 17.2% made up of
                                                                                Affiliated       Affiliated                         localities in Israel with affiliates
                                                                                  Sites            Sites                            having no presence in the OPT)

 * Data according to the Israeli CBS. The CBS only lists 159 settlement sites individually (of a total of over 250 actual settlement locations). Due to the large
size of the 15 urban Jerusalem sites (this excluding them from “Organizational Affiliation” data), the figures above exclude East Jerusalem. Of the 144 listed
sites remaining, a further 27 are excluded as they are either too large to register affiliation (as in Ariel and Ma’ale Adumim), of an industrial classification, or
unaffiliated to date (i.e.; Negohot). According to CBS data, 714 sites within Israel maintain a registered organizational affiliate today.
 ** Other major organizations in operating in Israel but not in the OPT include the HaKibbutz Ha’Artzi movement (national Kibbutz movement), which was
affiliated with the HaShomer HaTza’ir movement – connected in turn with the pre-formative Labor Alignment bloc. National Kibbutz affiliated sites in Israel
number over 84 sites – this making up the bulk of the 17.2% unaccounted for by the movements listed above.

              As the table shows, the Gush Emunim/Amana movement is by far the most prolific and ‘devoted’ of Israel’s
              settlement movements with regard to the OPT. With virtually no presence outside the West Bank and


              22
                 Menachem Begin, prior to taking office, had been a significant ally of the early Gush Emunim leadership, including Hanan Porat. When Begin
              gave Weizmann the Defense portfolio in his 1977 government, Sharon asked Porat to intervene personally on his behalf. Porat, a frequent visitor
              at the PM’s office, preferred to keep Sharon in the Agriculture Min., where he was head of the Inter-Ministerial Settlement Committee and a
              useful Gush ally, and so declined to help. Sharon went on to adopt the Gush Emunim settlement master plan in 1978, in part to snub a plan put
              forward by Weizman the same year. Porat and others were pivotal influences on Sharon throughout the period in question.
              23
                 For this reason many medium-size settlements founded by the religious or national-religious bodies - both of which are especially characterized
              by their emphasis on the creation of homogenous communities - retain their “organizational affiliation” with the settlement movement in question
              through the dominance of the organization’s political representatives in the settlement. Karnei Shomron, for example, was officially founded by
              Gush Emunim/Amana in early 1978 (with government approval). After gaining local-council status and officially shedding its affiliation with
              Gush Emunim in the late 1980s, Beni Katzover was elected head of the council (and subsequently of the larger regional council). Katzover is,
              however, a leader of the inner-circle Gush leadership. The same pattern has been repeated in almost every Gush Emunim/Amana settlement of
              medium size, and sometimes in those of substantial size. Kiryat Arba’, with a population of over 6,500, has remained a Gush Emunim stronghold,
              through the election to its council of Gush leaders and associated Kach activists over the years.
                                                                                                                                                            11
Gaza, Amana’s contribution to the program is all the more impressive given its independent status in
                                24
relation to the ruling parties.
It should be noted that while the Israeli government lists Amana as the sole registered affiliate of the 50
settlements indicated in the table, the movement itself claims 70 OPT sites as members of its network.
                                                                                          25
(Amana counts certain “unaffiliated sites” and smaller sites unlisted by the authorities.) In all, Amana sites
(excluding outposts erected in the last 2 years) amount to 82 when one includes unofficial affiliations listed
by Amana itself and adds those sites previously affiliated officially with Amana but now “unaffiliated.” 76 of
these sites are within the West Bank, 6 in the Gaza Strip. This figure is representative of the actual
contribution of the movement over the years to the settlement movement.
When acknowledging the close ideological and political ties between Gush Emunim and the National
Religious Party (NRP) – (see Party Politics section below) – it becomes worthwhile to look at Gush and
NRP contributions together. Of the NRP’s 19 sites, 11 are in the West Bank; 8 are in Gaza. The table
below excludes industrial, outpost, paramilitary, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem settlements, and calculates
Gush Emunim contribution to the remainder of OPT settlements based on both official and unofficial
affiliation.
               Actual Contribution by Amana/Gush Emunim and the NRP to West Bank Settlement
                                              (Excl. Jerusalem)

                                              Amana:                                       76
                                              NRP Settlement Movements:                    11
                                              All Other Registered Movements:              68
                                              Unaffiliated Settlements:                    19

                                              Total West Bank Residential Settlements
                                              Excluding East Jerusalem and Outposts: 174
                                              (PALDIS-LDC Database May 2002)



                                                                                              Amana
                                                                                               44%


                                      All Other
                                     Movements
                                        39%
                                                                                                    NRP
                                                                                                     6%



                                                                                   Unaffiliated
                                                                                     11%


The fact that the National Religious Party’s relatively minor contribution brings the Gush Emunim-linked
total up to 50% of all established West Bank settlements outside East Jerusalem is staggering given the
fact that Gush Emunim is not formally linked to any one political party and the NRP’s Knesset faction size
has fluctuated between a mere 5 and 10 seats over the last two decades. The figures stand testimony to
the unmitigated success of a small group of radical ideologues and to the zeal of successive Israeli
governments in furthering their activities.

4: Gush Emunim – Profile of the Leading Settlement Movement

4:1 Ideological Background

Founded in 1974, Gush Emunim (Bloc of the Faithful) originally grew out of the NRP youth movement Bnei
Akiva, whose leading members came to be known as the ‘Young Guard’ of the party. In ideology, Gush
represents the messianic Zionism formulated by the Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of Mandate Palestine, Rabbi
Abraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook (1865-1935). Kook’s teachings merged orthodox Jewish doctrine with
Zionist nationalism so as to place the Zionist premise of secular colonialism within a halachic (Jewish
religious law) framework. The resulting ‘merger’ endowed the Zionist program with cosmic significance;
conquering the land and settling it with Jews was no longer a mere nationalist aspiration along European
lines, but a uniquely Jewish religious endeavor: The hastening of the messianic era of redemption was
contingent upon exclusive Jewish settlement and the establishment of a Jewish theocracy in the ‘Land of
Israel’. Today, Merkaz HaRav (“Center of the Rabbi”) yeshiva in Jerusalem stands as the pedagogic &

24
   Those sites Amana is officially affiliated with within sovereign Israel are located in the Galilee (Mitzpe Netofa & Or HaGanuz). Smaller Israel
sites with which Amana is affiliated but not officially registered with include an additional Galilee community and a Negev site.
25
    See Amana website: www.amana.co.il
                                                                                                                                              12
spiritual center of the Gush movement, while literally hundreds of Rabbis and yeshivoth throughout the
OPT and beyond continue to teach the ‘Kookist’ neo-Zionism of the national-religious bloc.
Kook’s son, Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook (1891-1982) headed the Jerusalem yeshiva until his death and spent
his life transforming his father’s (non-systematic) writings into a comprehensive religious nationalism. His
own interpretation of the Kook doctrine has become the authoritative word in Gush Emunim ideology. Kook
‘the son’ was among the first religious leaders to call for all-out settlement in the OPT after the 1967 war
(he called for immediate and total annexation of all the territories occupied during the war on June 23 1967)
and remains the point of reference for Gush and other national religious Rabbis in matters of religious
jurisprudence.
In Kook ‘the son’s’ halachic position there is no ambiguity with regard to the settlement imperative: “I tell
you explicitly,” he said in 1967,”there is a prohibition in the Torah against giving up even an inch of our
liberated land. There are no conquests here and we are not occupying foreign land; we are returning to our
home, to the inheritance of our forefathers. There is no Arab land here, only the inheritance of our God -
                                                                                              26
the more the world gets used to this thought the better it will be for it and for all of us.”
With immensely influential ties to Rabbinical authorities and a ‘prestigious’ array of its own Merkaz HaRav
yeshiva graduates, the Gush Emunim movement has always been well equipped for the religious
sanctification of its activities. But, pragmatically, Gush Emunim has also sought - and gained - mechanisms
within Israel’s normative political structures through which to further its aims.

4:2 Gush Emunim & Party Politics

Gush Emunim’s master plan for West Bank settlement was adopted (with very minor amendments) by the
Likud government of the late 70s, when the movement was ostensibly linked with the National Religious
Party, but the movement has since distanced itself from single-party alliances. Gush Emunim realized early
on that, “[o]ur future is dependent on the identification of wide strata of ordinary people with our enterprise.
This identification, which exists potentially, must find channels for its activation - that is, settlement among
    27
us.” The Gush leadership, highly influential in the YESHA settlement council, cautioned against the
umbrella body adopting a party-political platform as early as 1984. Since then, Gush and YESHA have
each ingratiated themselves with a broad support-base within almost every political party. In this endeavor
Gush Emunim has been described as “the most effective social movement that has emerged in Israel
              28
since 1948.”
Settlers are, and always have been, highly ‘recruitable’ in comparison to Israelis in Israel proper. Voter turn-
out is consistently high in the OPT (c. 84-87% as opposed to c.76-81% during the 80s & 90s), making the
settler vote a political prize of significance beyond its numerical appearance.
The key to Gush’s cross-party political success lies in part in the simplicity of its platform. Though in
ideological terms positing a fantastic long-term social vision of a Jewish National-Religious theocracy, Gush
has always limited its political positions to immediate and short-term targets. By virtue of their ‘principled’
Biblical basis, these goals (redemption of the land through settlement at all costs) have been packaged
devoid of the complexities and contradictions of other Zionist movements and are hence easily identified
and consistent.
As regards the long-term, no practical vision is deemed necessary, and so none is offered: “The other
stages in the achievement of redemption are in the hands of Divine providence… In due course, God will
indicate their future role through clear signs, similar to those already furnished since the beginning of the
                       29
Zionist movement…” This position does not however render Gush ideology incomplete in the eyes of its
adherents, but rather conforms to its central motif of staged redemption in accordance with the revealed
will of God – so far manifested through the birth of Zionism, creation of the state of Israel and (most vitally)
the 1967 conquests.
Gush Emunim support cannot be underestimated, despite the apparent radicalism of its religious and
political views. Settlers residing in the most controversial and isolated Gush Emunim sites – and therefore
depending on Gush/Amana services – include Meretz voters and others considering themselves ‘doves’ in
the Israeli political arena. The Labor Party approved, informally, Gush Emunim’s settlement master plan
even before the Likud (in 1976). Labor politicians changed their own laws and those of the Civil

26
    Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook speaking at a conference in late 1967, quoted in Masalha, Nur, Imperial Israel and the Palestinians: The Politics of
Expansion, London: Pluto Press, 2000, p. 113.
27
   Gush Emunim statement published in Nekudah, May 1983, quoted in Lustick, Ian, For the Land and the Lord: Jewish Fundamentalism in
Israel, New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 1988, p157-8.
Two years earlier, (just following the evacuation from Yamit and other Sinai settlements), a Gush Emunim statement appeared in Nekudah: “We
must take seriously into account the ultimate disintegration of the existing [political] establishment, when the tool in our hands will be
transformed from a body that formulates proposals to one that will be called upon to actually execute them. The day this occurs must find us
prepared.”
Nekudah, No. 29, 5 June 1981, p. 10.
28
   The opinion of Dr. Ehud Sprinzak, expert in radical right political movements in Israel, quoted in Masalha, Imperial Israel, Op. Cit., p.110.
29
   Raanan, Tzvi, Gush Emunim, Tel Aviv: Sifriat Po’alim, 1980, p. 59.
                                                                                                                                            13
Administration to legalize extra-legal Gush activity when the movement was in its nascent and most
                30
harmless state.

Nonetheless, only rarely do Israel’s ‘doves’ declare or manifest publicly their support for the movement.
Rather, their support is passive as a result of Gush’s success in ensuring its own interests are directly tied
to that of the ‘leftist’ constituents living within its settlements, and through its ‘inheritance’ of the right to
speak for all other setters and their advocates through its sheer strength. Gush Emunim’s ability to appear
representative of the entire settler population, rather than a messianic minority within it, is reinforced by a
political vacuum among the less proactive and more economically motivated settler majority, whose
interests are tied directly to those of Gush, but whose ability and willingness to present a unified political
front is compromised by the presence of contradictory and complex party-political alliances.
The more proactive political support for Gush Emunim is found to the right of center and in the religious
parties, where Gush members are vocal and even prominent figures.
4:2:1 Gush Emunim & The National Religious Party (MAFDAL – NRP)
The relationship between Gush Emunim and the NRP, its natural political partner, has remained its most
important alliance over the years, despite a number of notable ‘low-points’. The NRP has played a role in
nearly every Israeli government since its formation in 1956 and due to the patterns of ‘bloc-voting’ among
the religious parties its power has often exceeded its faction size.
Led by Zvulun Hammer (a leader of the Bnei Akiva youth movement), until his death in 1998, the NRP has
asserted its influence through high ministerial appointments. Hammer, an MK since 1969, was Minister of
Social Affairs in Rabin’s 1974-1977 Labor government; he became Minister of Education and Culture in the
two subsequent Likud governments and eventually ended his career as Deputy Prime Minister in the
Netanyahu government.
[

Through the NRP’s international Bnei Akiva youth movement, Gush enjoys a vast outreach arm and
substantial fund-control. Bnei Akiva is the single largest religious Zionist youth movement in the world, with
over 50,000 full-time members outside Israel and influential links to the World Zionist Organization
Executive. Branches operate in 30 countries, with hundreds of regional centers. In the UK, no fewer than
30 individual centers organize seminars and youth activities under the familiar national-religious banner of
“The Land of Israel for the People of Israel according to the Torah of Israel.” All Bnei Akiva centers facilitate
and promote Aliyah (immigration) to the OPT through summer/winter camps and 1-2 year programs in
Israel and the OPT.
The US and Canada Bnei Akiva organization currently organizes camps in conjunction with the Israeli
army, wherein North American Zionist youth, “[s]pend five days learning some basics of Tzahal (the Israeli
Army)…. Live, eat and sleep in army conditions, and become familiar with self-defense techniques, army
                      31
discipline and rules.” Meanwhile, local (OPT) Bnei Akiva branches, such as those in Talmon and Karnei
Shomron settlements, are very active in youth absorption and community programs, operating with English
as their first language.
Domestically, the NRP has great influence over the state-religious school network, in which upwards of
                                   32
25% of Israeli pupils are enrolled. In mid-2001, the NRP ‘adopted’ an additional youth movement – Ezra –
a self-described “Ultra-Orthodox-Nationalist” movement with 356 branches in Israel and some 8,000 local
          33
members. In Barak’s coalition, the NRP – with 9 seats – were led by settler Yitzhak Levy and Gush
Emunim founding ideologue Hanan Porat. In the current coalition, Haim Druckman, a leading figure in Bnei
Akiva and a respected Gush leader, is the most experienced NRP MK, though Effi Eitam (a Golan settler)
has recently assumed the party leadership.
4:2:2 Gush Emunim & The Likud
Upon taking office in 1977, the Likud lacked the grassroots ‘core’ to implement its commitment to
settlement and so turned to Gush Emunim. Gush benefited from the official endorsement Likud
sponsorship gave it, not least when the Likud asked the World Zionist Organization’s Land Settlement
                                                                         34
Department to formalize Gush Emunim’s own settlement master plan in 1978.

30
   On Meretz voters in remote Gush or Gush-associated settlements see, for example, Ha’Aretz, Hard Times for Mevo Dotan, June 4 2001, or
Ha’Aretz, Impaled on a Pinhead, 18 May 2001.
In 1968, the Labor Party responded to proto-Gush Emunim squatters taking up residence in Hebron’s Park Hotel under the leadership of Moshe
Levinger, by arming them, providing them with vehicles and changing the order barring an Israeli citizen from staying longer than 48 hours in the
OPT without government supervision. The removal of the order cleared the way for unlimited ‘squatting’ by settler activists. The Labor Party’s
settlement architect Yigal Allon then authorized the construction of Kiryat Arba’ (ever since a major Gush stronghold) and the opening of a
Jewish “restaurant” deep in the Arab old city of Hebron – so the Hebron settlement was born. (Oddly enough, the young Labor Party legal advisor
brought in to re-draft the accommodating legislation was Meir Shamgar, who would 26 years later head the “Shamgar Commission of Inquiry”
into the 1994 Hebron massacre.)
31
   The “Gadna Tzahal” camp as advertised by Bnei Akiva – see US and Canada branch website: http://www.bneiakiva.org/
32
   Demant, Peter, A People That Dwells Apart, Journal of Palestine-Israel Studies, Vol. VII No. 3 & 4, p95.
33
   Ha’Aretz, Revival on the Religious Right, June 11 2001.
34
   The WZO’s Land Settlement Department was then headed by Matitiyahu Drobles, a Gush associate; the plan he drafted became the national
blueprint for West Bank settlement and was known as the Gush-Drobles plan. It incorporated 59 of the 60 sites Gush Emunim had suggested in
their original.
                                                                                                                                             14
The Likud gave Gush Emunim the ministerial and financial support that transformed it from an active
settlement lobby into the settlement movement. In return, Gush implemented government policy – even
when it remained unexpressed. The 1978-9 Camp David peace talks with Sadat saw Gush act extra-legally
due to the Begin government’s unwillingness to appear openly belligerent by endorsing new settlements.
During the negotiation process, Amana/Gush Emunim established 7 new settlements deep in the West
                                                                                 35
Bank. No other organization established new sites during this ‘sensitive’ period. Following the Egypt-Israel
Peace Treaty, Begin appointed NRP leader and Gush Emunim supporter Yosef Burg head of Israel’s 6-
man negotiating team on the ‘autonomy’ plan for the OPT. The talks were effectively stillborn, just as Begin
had hoped but had been unable achieve through more overt action. The advantages of this ‘unwritten’
Likud-Gush pact were mutual and remain the foundation of their relationship today.
Likud support for Gush Emunim does vary from MK to MK, but opposition is rare – even in extreme cases.
In 1984, 27 Gush members affiliated with MK Meir Kahane’s Kach faction were convicted in connection
with anti-Arab “terrorist” activities. The sentences given the so-called ‘Jewish Underground’ members
included life sentences for multiple murders. The ruling Likud party joined the NRP and other national-
religious parties in lobbying for their release. Likud MKs most vociferous in their calls for a blanket amnesty
included Yitzhak Shamir (PM), Ariel Sharon (Trade & Industry), Haim Corfu (Transport), Moshe Arens,
Moshe Katzav, David Levy and Yitzhak Moda’i.
Gush continues to enjoy strong personal ties with the Likud leadership; Sharon is himself known to be
close to Amana’s Dir. Gen., Ze’ev Hever (also known as ‘Zambish’).
4:2:3 Gush Emunim – Tehiyyeh, Moledet and the “Radical Right”
Tehiyyeh (“Renaissance”) was founded by Gush Emunim members in 1979, along with secular figures
from the (previously) Labor-aligned “Whole Land of Israel Movement.” Its leadership has included the
following high-ranking Gush figures: Hanan Porat, Elyakim Ha’Etzni, Daniella Weiss and Beni Katzover, as
well as figures from the secular far-right including Geula Cohen and Yuval Neemen. In its first electoral bid
(1981), Tehiyyeh secured 2.2% of the national vote, but in the OPT, took an impressive 26% - more than
Labor (17%). Together, the NRP (with 12%) and Tehiyyeh gained far more support in the OPT than the
                                         36
victorious Likud party (which took 32%).
Tehiyyeh advocated ‘transfer’ and annexation, and as such joined the Kach, Moledet and Tsomet parties to
form Israel’s radical-right political bloc. Individually Tehiyyeh’s Knesset representation was always low, but
through bloc-voting and partnerships with the other small rightist parties it increased its influence: In joining
Begin’s Likud government in 1982, Tehiyyeh only held 3 seats, but after joining forces with Rafael Eitan’s
Tsomet faction, increased its Knesset weight to 5 (1984-7). Combined, Tehiyyeh, Tsomet and Moledet held
7 seats in the following (Shamir-led) Knesset (1988-92).
In January 1992, Tehiyyeh joined Moledet in quitting the Shamir government to protest the Madrid talks. By
then, the newly formed Zu ‘Artzeinu settler pressure group – led by Gush settlement resident Benny Elon –
had emerged to form a partnership with Moledet. In the 1996 elections Moledet/Zu ‘Artzeinu and the NRP
stripped Tehiyyeh of its votes as conditional Gush support for Netanyahu and the appeal of the Rehav’am
Ze’evi/Benny Elon – secular/messianic pact seemed to render Tehiyyeh’s separate status redundant.
Members of Tehiyyeh who did not join the Moledet or NRP parties subsequently formed “The Committee
for Safety on the Roads” in coordination with the (officially) outlawed Kach movement, led by No’am
Federman and based in the Kiryat Arba’ Gush Emunim stronghold. The aims of the “Committee” were
identified as a probable source of violence in 1996, when Kiryat Arba’s so-called “American cell” of the
                                                                                             37
Kach movement was singled out as an extremist faction even by Gush Emunim’s own standards.
Moledet was joined in 1996 by Natan Sharansky’s Yisrael B’Aliyah party, which catered to far-right Russian
immigrant voters. Together the two parties gained 9 seats in the 1996 elections, equal to the NRP’s own
faction size. The NRP, Moledet and Yisrael B’Aliyah thus became a voting block with nearly double the
strength of Shas (10 seats). All three parties found support within and gave support to Gush Emunim.
Moledet and Yisrael B’Aliyah did so while also appealing to the non-messianic and even staunchly secular
voter.
In the last round of general elections (1999), Moledet, Herut and the Tekuma party (of Gush Katif Regional
Council head, Zvi Hendel) competed as the ‘National Union’ bloc, forming an alliance with another far-right
Russian immigrant party – Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu – to form the so-called ‘National Union –
Yisrael Beiteinu’ faction once in office. In the Sharon government, these factions controlled 12 seats, until
Lieberman led his 4-seat faction out of the coalition. Moledet’s Benny Elon, of Gush Emunim’s Beit El
settlement, held the post of Tourism Min. until recently, while Yisrael B’Aliyah’s Sharansky remains Israel’s
Min. of Housing and Construction.
Gush Emunim voting in the 1999 round of elections leaned heavily in favor of the ‘National Union’
formation, providing virtually its entire share of the votes. A broad survey of 33 Gush-affiliated settlements
35
   PALDIS-LDC Database.
36
   CBS, Results of the Elections to the Tenth Knesset, Special Series, No. 680, 1981.
37
   Ha’Aretz, It is Difficult to Predict Acts by a Lone Extremist, 11 November 1996.
                                                                                                              15
throughout the West Bank reveals the ‘National Union’ to have consistently received the largest proportion
of votes, and never less than a third of all votes cast. The following table provides a comparison with the
NRP and Likud votes cast in these sites, where these are significant, while also identifying the handful of
Gush Emunim sites with a distinct UTJ vote. Those settlements where a Likud or NRP vote is not shown
                                                                             38
evinced neither strong support for these two parties nor outright rejection.
          Gush Emunim Support for the ‘National Union’ in the 1999 Elections – Selected Settlements

                                                哲ational                                    United
                          Settlement                            NRP           Likud         Torah
                                                Union”                                     Judaism
                     Ateret                      47.2%
                     Avnei Hefetz                44.1%         26.0%
                     Bat Ayin                    45.0%         2.0%           1.0%          37.5%
                     Beit El                     62.7%
                     Beit Hagai                  68.9%          9.0%          3.0%           9.0%
                     Bracha                      43.3%
                     Carmel                      50.2%         28.6%
                     Dolev                       61.2%
                     Einav                       35.2%
                     Elon Moreh                  60.1%
                     Hebron (old city)           65.2%         16.0%          1.0%          12.0%
                     Itamar                      51.3%
                     Kedumim                     46.8%         27.7%
                     Kiryat Arba’                37.1%         7.0%           12.0%          9.0%
                     Kokhav HaShahar             61.6%
                     Kokhav Ya'akov              36.7%
                     Ma'ale Levona               44.5%
                     Ma'ale Michmas              45.4%
                     Metzadot Yehuda             47.6%         34.3%          7.0%           2.0%
                     Mitzpe Yericho              39.8%         31.1%
                     Neve       Tzuf        -
                     Halamish                    35.1%         27.2%
                     Ofra                        47.7%         26.3%
                     Otni’el                     40.8%         34.4%          6.0%           5.0%
                     Pnei Hever                  64.6%         12.0%          9.0%           9.0%
                     Psagot                      48.5%         28.9%
                     Revava                      62.0%         28.4%
                     Shavei Shomron              42.3%
                     Shilo                       55.3%
                     Susiya                      51.2%         30.8%
                     Talmon                      53.5%         32.5%          2.0%           6.0%
                     Tekoa                       49.0%         10.0%          14.0%          3.0%
                     Yaqir                       41.6%
                     Yitzhar                     52.2%                                      38.0%
               National Average:                  3%             4%            14%            4%

Of the parties competing in the 1999 list, the ‘National Union’ received the lowest national level of support
of all parties gaining Knesset seats, yet in the OPT, 20 settlements cast more than 50% of their vote in the
party’s favor, and 61 settlements cast more than 25% of their votes in the party’s favor. No OPT settlement
cast 50% of its votes in favor of Labor, and only 3 cast 50% in favor of the Likud party (Telem, Mevo Dotan
& Ganim – each of which are affiliated with the party).
Outside the OPT, the ‘National Union’ only received more than 25% of locality votes in 6 sites – all of which
are Golan settlements. Its support in Israel-proper peaked at 7.1% in Safed, and only topped 5% in 4 other
localities.

Of the 70 settlements Gush Emunim itself currently lists as full affiliates, only one (Tene) evinced patterns
remotely similar to the national average, with 27% support for Likud, 16% for Labor, 10% for Shas, 2% for
Meretz, and 10% for Shinui. (National Average: 14%; 20%; 13%; 7%; and 5% respectively). Yet, in every
Gush Emunim site surveyed in the table above, the prime ministerial vote following the general election
produced at least a 1-3% vote in favor of Barak.
4:3 Estimating the Knesset Power of Gush Emunim


38
   Election results as published by Ma’ariv, 19 & 23 May 1999, reproduced in Judea Electronic Magazine [settler periodical linked to the Women
in Green movement], No. 7.3, May-June 1999.
                                                                                                                                           16
As far as the settlement issue is concerned, the ‘far-right’ parties, along with the NRP and much of the
Likud, have a complex and fluid history of unifying “committees,” “fronts” and “councils” to their name. In
response to the Oslo process, a “Joint Committee” was formed which has since changed shape and name
a number of times. The “Joint Committee” comprised Likud, Tsomet, NRP and Moledet party majorities
alongside YESHA, Amana/Gush Emunim, the revisionist Betar youth movement, the Israeli Hasidic Habad-
Lubavitch chapter and Gush Emunim figure Elyakin Ha’Etzni’s ‘Committee to stop the Autonomy Plan.’
Though each composite element issued all manner of statements ranging from calls to violence to pledges
of national allegiance, the October 1993 edition of the settler magazine Nekudah contained a 16-point
statement of ‘Basic Principles’ predictably rejecting any and all forms of Palestinian self-rule and any
                                          39
territorial or jurisdictional concessions. In November 1993 Rabin met with Gush Emunim leaders and
Rabbis. In early December 1993, Israel’s State Attorney and Deputy Attorney Gen. met with YESHA and
Gush leaders. In the ensuing talks with the PLO – which led through the Gaza-Jericho or Oslo I Accord to
the Interim Agreement or Oslo II Accord – some 30 military officers residing in settlements were included in
                             40
Israel’s negotiating team.

By refraining from party-exclusive alignment Gush Emunim has avoided many of the pit-falls of fractious
Israeli party-politics, while reaping the benefits of support at the highest levels of government and from a
variety of competing or collaborating forces. Through their ties with the NRP, Likud and the “Radical-Right,”
at any one time over the last 10 years Gush Emunim can be said to have found flexible allies occupying no
                                               41
less than 40 Knesset seats and up to 50. Thus, throughout the Oslo period and beyond, the Gush
Emunim support base within the Knesset has consistently exceeded in size even the ruling party. If one
takes into consideration the block-voting patterns of that period, this strength increases to account for close
to half the Knesset. In the current Knesset, potential Gush Emunim support, including that achieved
                                                        42
through block-voting, can be put at 52 Knesset seats.
4:4 Gush Emunim Settlements
Gush’s remarkable political impact and the unmatched proliferation of its settlement sites is at odds with
the actual number of Israelis willing to participate in the practical process of Gush settlement. According to
available data – much of which must be estimated due to the predominance of small and unregistered sites
– no more than 88,000 settlers currently reside in the 82 sites either presently or previously affiliated
                                         43
(officially or unofficially) with Amana. Furthermore, by removing the deceptive demographic weight of the
Amana-founded Ma’ale Adumim settlement, where Amana/Gush influence is now minimal and the
organization holds no official status (beyond the historical ‘honor’ of having laid the foundations for Israel’s
largest illegal settlement), this figure drops to 61,300.
Of the entire OPT settler population (put at just over 400,000), identifiable Gush/Amana settlers make up
only 15%, while the movement – as noted above – is tied to close to half of all established residential sites
in the OPT (excl. Jerusalem). At the end of the year 2000, the Jewish Israeli population was put at
4,955,000, meaning only 1.2% of Israelis choose to live in Gush Emunim affiliated communities. Given
Gush Emunim’s ideological position it is also worth noting that not even 0.5% of the world’s Jewish
                                                                                    44
population have as yet felt the need to join the movement in its messianic mission.
The vast majority of Gush Emunim sites in the OPT are small (under 1,000) and are either relatively
isolated or located in ‘clusters’, lacking immediate contiguity but affording a sense of regional community
through shared religious, social and educational hubs at a central site.




39
   A full reproduction of the ’16 Basic Principles’ can be found in Shaw-Smith, Peter, The Israeli Settler Movement Post-Oslo, in Journal of
Palestine Studies, Vol. XXIII, No. 3 (Spring 1994), p.102.
40
   Rabin’s meetings with Gush Emunim and YESHA leaders: ibid pp.104-105.
Makeup of Oslo negotiating teams: Savir, Uri, The Process - 1,100 Days That Changed the Middle East, New York: Vintage Books, 1999, p.199.
41
   In the 1992 Knesset: Moledet – 3; Tsomet – 8; NRP – 6; Likud – 32 = 49 seats or nearly the entire opposition.
In the 1996 Knesset: Moledet – 2; NRP – 9; Yisrael B’Aliyah – 7; Likud-Tsomet-Gesher (united) – 32 = 50 seats (48 of which were within the
Netanyahu-led coalition of 66 seats – thus dominating it).
In the 1999, and current, Knesset: Gesher [David Levy’s faction] – 3; ‘National Union’ -Yisrael Beiteinu [incl. Moledet] – 7; NRP – 5; Herut
[Michael Kleiner’s off-shoot from the ‘National Unity’ faction] – 1; Yisrael B’Aliyah – 4; Likud – 19 = 39 seats.
42
   United Torah Judaism regularly votes in union with the NRP and receives important support from Gush Emunim settlers (see for example,
Yitzhar or Bat ‘Ayin settlements in the table above). In the current Knesset UTJ hold 5 seats, in the last two they held 4. Likewise, the small
‘hawkish’ centrist parties of the last two Knessets (The Center Party, The Third Way and Democratic Choice) frequently forge voting alliances
with the smaller radical right and religious formations. Combined with the established pro-Gush bodies and UTJ these elements offer a maximum
potential bloc equivalent to 52 seats, while in the previous Knesset their combined total reached 58 seats.
43
   According to data collated by PALDIS-LDC from Amana’s own sources, those of the Israeli CBS and those of the YESHA council.
44
   Jewish population statistics as cited by the CBS, Statistical Abstract of Israel 2001.
                                                                                                                                           17
               Relative Sizes of Amana/Gush Emunim Settlements in the OPT (Excl. East Jerusalem)



           Over 2000                               Under 500
              6%                                     49%

                                                                  Amana Affiliated or Founded
                                                                      Settlement Sizes

      1000-2000                                                     Under 500        -      40
         18%
                                                                    500-999          -      22
                                                                    1000-2000         -     15
                                                                    Over 2000        -       5*

                              500-999
                                                                      * - Includes Ma’ale Adumim
                               27%




The individual settlements are presented as embodying the quintessential Jewish ‘community experience’.
In the post-kibbutz age, Gush strives to recapture the ‘pioneering, revolutionary camaraderie’ of early
Zionist mythology, positing a national-religious focus on “redeeming the land” and “gathering the exiles” to
the OPT for the pre-state socialism of the kibbutz movements. Gush believe that the Zionist socialism of
earlier settlers proved unsustaining because it failed to tap the significance of the ‘return’ to Eretz Israel and
as such did not ‘connect’ with the empowering spiritual connection of the Jewish people with the occupied
West Bank and Gaza. Beyond the drive to possess the Palestinian territories, lies a social purpose which
endows the ‘communities’ with an elitist and exclusive self-perception, but one wholly communal and of
great political potency as a consequence. Gush Emunim aspires to “create a new framework for living, not
only in the material-economic sense but also in the social-spiritual sense,” and as such elevates the
community identity above that of the individual, whose role is – no matter how ‘holy’ – always secondary to
                                  45
the collective messianic purpose.




45
     Gush Emunim statement, Nekudah, No. 25, March 1981, p. 14.
                                                                                                               18
Area of Gush Emunim Exclusivity in the West Bank in the Context of
             the Oslo-Period Cantonization 1995-2001




                                                                     19
4:5 Absorption to Gush Emunim Sites

The messianism and self-agrandisement of the Gush platform does not attract many potential settlers from
within Israeli society. Those that do join the smaller communities or assist in forming new ones are
generally the product of the aforementioned pedagogic streams attached to the NRP and other religious
Zionist youth programs. They are joined by a disproportionate number from the US, France and elsewhere,
                                                                                 46
where Gush-related immigrant absorption, youth and ‘outreach’ programs operate. The current chairman
of the Knesset Committee for Immigration, Absorption and the Diaspora, is ‘National Union’ MK and Ganei
Tal (Gaza) NRP settler Zvi Hendel, who is also a member of the YESHA executive and sits on the Knesset
Economics Committee.
Reliable Israeli statistics do not lend themselves to calculating the comparative immigrant absorption rate
of Amana/Gush settlements. However, it is in Amana sites that the exclusively English native tongue
                                                                                       rd
suburbs have become a feature of OPT settlement. Karnei Shomron, Amana’s 3 largest settlement, and
the center of major development over the last decade, now boasts Neve Aliza, a new ‘neighborhood’
                                                                       47
catering exclusively to “new immigrants from western countries.” Similar ‘neighborhoods’ exist in Kiryat
Arba’ and Ma’ale Levona – where an English language college for training young male Jewish immigrants
                                                                                    48
“with little or no awareness of their Jewish ancestral identity,” has been founded.
English-language youth movements operate absorption centers in Karnei Shomron, Talmon and Kiryat
Arba’ – all Gush Emunim/Amana centers. In addition, French-language services are available at Gush
Emunim’s Mitzpe Yericho and Ateret sites. At Gush Emunim’s large Shilo-Eli bloc, representatives claim to
have “shone in the Aliyah department,” listing immigrants who have come directly to the settlements from
North America, Europe and South America. Shilo’s English-language promoters advertise the site’s
“beautiful physical surroundings [confiscated Jalud, Qaryut, Sinjil and Turmus’ayya land] and the
                               49
reasonable prices of housing…” Among Shilo’s numerous North American immigrants is Era Rappaport,
one of the convicted ‘Jewish Underground’ activists pardoned in the late 80s; today Rappaport offers
                                                                                 50
guided tours of the West Bank at $250 per day (extra with bullet-proof vehicle).
The current head of the YESHA Council, Benzi Lieberman, is himself ‘President’ of Ulpanei Klita Shomron
[Samaria Absorption Units], a network of absorption centers in the “Samaria” region of the West Bank.
Registered in 1993, the center aims to “start absorption centers for new immigrants… teach Hebrew and
prepare them for life in Israel; introduce them to Israeli culture and make their integration in Israel easier…”
The programs run by the center exploit Gush Emunim settlements almost exclusively and apparently
                                                                                           51
populated one small Gush Emunim/Amana site nearly fully during the Oslo period. The organization,
which is in fact one of many such enterprises in the OPT, claims Gush Emunim’s isolated West Bank sites
are “a good place for absorbing immigrants from different nations; they are located relatively short
distances from the big cities, but offer immigrants housing solutions at reasonable prices.” Ulpanei Klita
Shomron runs clubs for immigrant youth and for the elderly and even has a unit catering for “those who are
converting to Judaism,” which accepts some 20 candidates a year. Its “First home in Israel” program
absorbs 70 immigrant families (meaning at the very least 200 settlers) a year directly to ‘Samaria’
             52
settlements. Lieberman, a Gush Emunim settler and ex-chairman of the Samaria regional council was

46
   Gush immigrants from the US and the other main western democracies have played a prominent role in the Gush program, not only through
their promotional work within their original community. In December 1993, as a reaction to the Oslo accord, Benny Elon’s Moledet/Gush
Emunim pressure group Zu ‘Artzeinu launched “Operation Double” [aimed at doubling the number of settlements through the establishment of
one outpost 1km from every existing site]. Australian Moshe Beiglin and American David Romanov led the optimistic operation. By all accounts
the operation was partially successful in that it severely embarrassed the Rabin leadership, though only a handful of new outposts were erected. 6
Israeli journalists were arrested trying to cover the activities and Israel’s national news broadcaster referred to the eventual coverage as a “field-
scouts training exercise.” See: Shaw-Smith, Peter, The Israeli Settler Movement Post-Oslo, in Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. XXIII, No. 3
(Spring 1994), p.104.
47
   Jerusalem Post, What’s Really Happening in the Settlements?, May 30 1998.
48
   See, www.michlol.org/maalelevona/index.html.
49
   Shilo – A Community of Growth online promotional material at: www.shilo.org.il
50
   Correspondence January 2001.
51
   Ulpanei Klita Shomron claim to have placed in Sa-Nur “Artists Colony” 30 immigrant families – a figure at odds with the site’s minute
population. Sa Nur is possibly the most remote and unsustainable settlement site in the OPT, lying to the north of Homesh off the road leading
through eastern Jenin governorate on Silat adh Dhahr and Al Fandaqumiya land. YESHA puts the population at 60, the CBS at 52. In January
2002, Ariel Sharon specifically referred to Sa Nur as an “isolated settlement with strategic value,” when he reiterated his pledge never to evacuate
any sites. Sharon addressed the settlers there: “[Y]ou are the ones who maintain the households and drive on the roads and by doing so express the
continued life and hold on these difficult areas, and by doing so are real Jewish heroes.” However, his perception was evidently not shared by the
immigrant population and came some 5 months after Israel’s Yediot Aharonot daily reported that the last families (or Jewish heroes) had
voluntarily left the remote settlement, leaving only a handful of ‘hard-core’ bachelors. These ‘core’ settlers originally came from Yitzhar (pop.
330) in Nablus – considered one of the more ‘extreme’ Gush Emunim settlements.
Sharon quoted in Ha’Aretz, PM: No settlement need be evacuated, 15 January 2002.
Yediot Aharonot report of August 17 2001reproduced in: FMEP – Settlement Report, Settlers Leaving: An Intifada Phenomenon, in Journal of
Palestine Studies, Vol. XXXI, No.2, (Winter 2002), p. 125.
52
   The CBS calculates immigrant household sizes as a whole as averaging 2-5 people. The high fertility rate of OPT settlers should be taken into
consideration though. 1999 figures put the OPT (excl. East Jerusalem) fertility rate at 4.46 – this being nearly double the national average rate of
2.64. CBS, Statistical Abstract of Israel 2001.
                                                                                                                                                  20
        elected head of YESHA in early 2002. He declared his intention then to, “prevent the establishment of the
                                                                    53
        State of Palestine and bring about the collapse of the PA.”
        4:5:1 Immigration to OPT Settlements in General

        Looking at the OPT (excl. East Jerusalem) settlement population as a whole, shows the role played by
        European-American immigrants in boosting the Oslo-period growth rate to be important and the role of first
        generation Israelis to far outweigh that of second generation Israelis in the settlement program.

Settlers by Region of Origin (Excl. East Jerusalem)*                            Direct Immigrants to OPT Settlements (Excl. East
                                                                                                   Jerusalem)
       Israeli of                                       Euro-
         Origin                                       American of                  25,000

     (Father born                                       Origin                                                   21,500
       in Israel)                                       35%
         42%                                                                       20,000


                                                                                                                             Euro-American
                                                                                   15,000                                    of Birth
                                                                                              12,200
                                                                                                                             African or Asian
                                                                                                                               Other (incl.
                                                                                                       8,000                    Birth
                                                                                                                             ofex USSR)
                                                                                   10,000




                                                                                    5,000

                                                                                                                          1,400
                                                African of
         Asian of
                                                 Origin                                 0
          Origin
                                                  12%                                         1968 - 1990         1991-2000
          11%


* - Region of Origin as defined by the Israeli CBS refers to the area of birth of the first generation Israeli resident’s father.
Sources: Israeli CBS, Statistical Abstract of Israel 2001 (Table 2.22)

        European and American born Jews made up 94% of all immigrants to the OPT settlements outside
        Jerusalem during the 90s, with an average over 2,000 immigrants a year, while Asian (including Jews from
        ex-USSR states) and African immigrants arrived at a declining rate averaging merely 140 a year.
        American – European immigrants who arrived to settle during the 1990s now make up 10.5% of the
                                                                                 54
        205,800 settlers living outside East Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries. Including the direct immigrants
        who settled prior to 1990 raises the American – European direct immigrant contribution to some 17%, while
        the number of first generation Israelis of European and American origin accounts for more than a third of all
        OPT settlers outside Jerusalem.
        Naturally, there is no reason to assume that Gush Emunim have absorbed all or even most of these
        immigrants, but the statistics support the Gush belief that ‘if you build it they will come.’ A cursory glance at
        most Gush Emunim settlement promotional material or family-run independent settler websites confirms
        that the organization has, on the whole, been remarkably successful in absorbing immigrants.
        The Gush communities resulting from the national-religious absorption process are frequently marked by a
        kitsch and inaccurate pretence at ‘Jewish continuity.’ The major Gush center of Shilo, for example, invites
        prospective settlers to sample New York “Earth-Mother,” Yehudith Wells’ “famous mint brownies,” and, “get
        a taste of what Israel once was from border to border - an intimate supportive community... concerned
                                                                          55
        about you, about each other, and about creating a better future.”

        4:6 Gush Emunim and the Sharon – Peres Government
        Shortly after Ariel Sharon and Shimon Peres formed their unity government, ‘The Land of Israel Front,’
        another loose coalition of Moledet, NRP and Likud settler activists, dominated by the prominent Gush
        Emunim figures Daniella Weiss and Elyakim Ha’Etzni, met to discuss its strategy vis-à-vis government
        policy. Benny Elon, being an MK in the government, cautioned against issuing a provocative statement and
        suggested the ‘Front’ trust its Knesset allies to operate quietly on their behalf. However, Weiss and


        53
           Jerusalem Post, New Settler Leader Vows to Seek PA's Collapse, January 7 2002.
        Ulpanei Klita Shomron is based in Barkan settlement’s neighboring industrial zone (Barkan is affiliated with Herut, pop. 1150) and enjoys
        official status as an Israeli ‘Non Profit Philanthropic Organization.’
        Mission definitions and achievements according to Ulpanei Klita Shomron’s submission to the Israeli non-profit association directory and from
        correspondence – May 2002.
        54
           OPT settler population figures as compiled by PALDIS – LDC from Israeli official and settler sources, current to end of 2000.
        55
           Excerpt from promotional material on Shilo’s website (www.shilo.org.il)
                                                                                                                                                 21
Ha’Etzni prevailed in their demand for a strong condemnation of the so-called “Settlement Freeze Formula”
(see above) being brokered by Peres.
On May 15 2001, the coalition issued a statement reading: “Measures taken to freeze settlements would
destroy the Sharon government’s right to exist. Such measures would obligate the Land of Israel Front to
                               56
work against the government.” Days prior to the statement going public, Amana Gen. Dir. Ze’ev Hever
met with Sharon at Ofra, reportedly addressing the PM as a friend: “Arik, you know that our staying power
is almost unlimited. Our problem is confusion. People don’t understand where we are headed; they are
                  57
waiting for you…”
But despite these public noises, neither Ha’Etzni nor Hever operate under the illusion that the PM can too
publicly and overtly commit to a Gush agenda, no matter what his credentials. Instead, in the first months of
the current government, the established relationship between the Likud and Gush Emunim came into play
– albeit with added vigor. Gush Emunim outposts proliferated; at least 16 new Gush Emunim sites
                                                                    58
appeared in the 6 months that followed Hever’s pleas of “confusion”. The government did its part by either
denying the existence of the new sites or evading the issue when it arose – it rarely did. Meanwhile Gush
Emunim conducted a familiar campaign aimed at underscoring the conditional nature of its tacit support for
the Sharon government; a succession of articles and public statements accused the “impotent,” military of,
“worshipping the hollow Molech of phraseology,” and Sharon himself of giving Arafat, “a license to kill
        59
Jews.” But the leadership stuck to its policy of strategic patience, tempering its criticism and upping its
activities under the smokescreen of demands for increased security and occasional well-directed cries of
‘traitor.’
In contrast to the breast-beating anti-peace antics of the Oslo-era outposts – particularly those of the post-
Wye period – the settlers have been sensitive to the need to move fast and effectively while the dearth of
international interest and the absence of a domestic political agenda affords them space. Yuval Karni, of
Yedioth Aharonoth, suggests, “the goal is to have Sharon turn a blind eye, and not annoy his coalition
                      60
partners overmuch.”
But Sharon’s only coalition partners who might be ‘annoyed’ are the Labor Party, and in this regard it
should be recalled that when Ehud Barak inherited over 40 new settlement outposts from his Likud
predecessor, he made great efforts to ensure the world witnessed him dismantle 10 uninhabited sites and
                                                                         61
one inhabited site – leaving 31 Netanyahu-period outposts intact. According to Peace Now’s latest aerial
survey, there are over 80 so-called ‘footholds’ or ‘strongholds’ (unauthorized sites beyond the recognized
settlement area) now in the West Bank – at least 20 of these were established during the Rabin-Peres-
                                62
Barak Labor governments. As for the current Labor faction’s ‘annoyance’, a spokesman for DM Ben
Eliezer, has claimed, “there will be no discounts on this matter; the minister has already proven his
              63
intentions…” Whether or not the settlers’ claim that, “every outpost has a permit from the Defense Ministry or
relevant bodies,” is true, the fact is that Ben Eliezer settled for the “dummy outposts” offered him by YESHA
and Amana when he engaged in a brief political charade in June 2002, and meanwhile new settlement
outposts are being erected. 6 months on from Ben Eliezer’s “no discounts” statement, new sites are being
                                                                          64
erected and these are being protected on Defense Ministry orders.
In Hebron, a Gush Emunim stronghold, the absolute support for the activities of the settlers has reached
new peaks under the current government. By the end of August 2001, Gush Emunim and Kach supporters
from the Kiryat Arba’ and Hebron (old city) settlements had forced the unarmed TIPH patrols out of the
town in a wave of unchecked violence. TIPH commander Karl Henry Sjursen ordered the pull-out when it
became clear that the settlers were acting with the military’s consent. Sjursen said at the time, “the settlers
                                                            65
of Hebron enjoy complete immunity to act with impunity.” It should be emphasized that Sjursen left the
town after an attack was carried out by settlers on TIPH personnel in full view of the military, who did not
interfere. Unfortunately the ‘toothless’ mandate of TIPH bars its commander from reporting all such
incidents openly, but since taking up duties in Hebron in 1994, the unit has never before been known to
abandon its patrols.


56
   Ha’Aretz, Right Divided Over Support for Government, 16 May 2001.
57
   Ha’Aretz, Peak Performance, 11 May 2001.
58
   PALDIS – LDC Database – 19 sites were erected by late October 2001, 16 of these close to Gush Emunim sites.
59
   Excerpts from Op. Ed. pieces by Ofra settler (ex-YESHA head and editor of Nekudah), Israel Harel, published in Ha’Aretz between May and
July 2001.
60
   Yedioth Aharonoth, Hilltop Strongholds, Settler: “After All, We are Only Safeguarding State Land,” 25 January 2002.
61
   FMEP, Report on Israeli Settlement, November-December 1999, p. 5.
62
   Yedioth Aharonoth, Soldiers As Settlement Sacrifices, 26 April 2002.
63
   Yedioth Aharonoth, Hilltop Strongholds, Op. Cit.
64
   Arutz Shev’a, Binyamin Wants You!, May 28 2002 (see Page 1).
According to information published in Israel in June 2002, the Defense Ministry has officially sanctioned defense spending and resources for over
60 unauthorized outposts in the West Bank. Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz, came under fire for his role in the decision, when opposition leader Yossi
Sarid wondered if, given the illegal domestic status of these sites and the criminal nature of their continued existence, the Chief of Staff, “would
[also] recommend to the police to deploy forces to protect illegal gambling parlors and brothels?”
Ha’Aretz, The Battle for Public Opinion, 24 June 2002.
65
   Ha’Aretz, The TIPH Commander Explains Why he Stopped Patrols in Jewish Heron, 26 August, 2001, reproduced in Journal of Palestine
Studies, Vol. XXXI, No. 2 (Winter 2002), p. 132.
                                                                                                                                                22
The real gauge of success in the latest Gush-government relationship is outpost activity. As long as
outposts are left to multiply and solidify, Gush Emunim will refrain from its threat to “work against the
government.” Should it feel forced to do so, it will be sure to work alongside or within Moledet, NRP and
Yisrael Beiteinu factions – meaning any coalition split along these lines will likely be coterminous with a shift
in Gush Emunim policy.
4:7 Gush Emunim and the New Outposts
During the last 18 months, Gush Emunim settlers have erected 39 new settlement sites in the West Bank.
Again, they have outdone every other settlement movement by far in this, their defining forte. Amana’s
Gen. Dir., Ze’ev Hever, is affectionately known as the ‘father of the outposts.’
Some of the sites have been erected as standing monuments to dead settlers, established with more
fanfare than others and accompanied with calls for the army and government to kill and expel Palestinians.
These are generally proclaimed a ‘Zionist response’ after Palestinian challenges to settler supremacy in the
OPT. (Examples include so-called “Mitzpe Assaf,” near Ofra, named after slain settler Assaf Hirshkowitz.)
Others have been erected in accordance with the strategic mid-term considerations of Gush settlement
clusters seeking eventual contiguity. (Such as those around or within the Shilo and Talmon blocs). Others
still have been erected with little or no foreseeable territorial purpose, and without political ceremony, but
rather as part of a resurgence of purpose and release of pent up community ‘angst’; this has been sparked
by the onset of the current military engagement and is particularly notable in those small, isolated sites
where the Oslo myth of ‘evacuation’ was once thought quite real. (Examples include Mevo Dotan and
Einav).
All outposts have the real potential to be transformed into substantial settlements or components of
expanded existing ones. Ma’ale Adumim, Kiryat Arba’, Shilo, Eli, Ofra, Elon Moreh, Bracha, Sa Nur, Einav,
Kedumim, Bruchim, and many other established sites began as unauthorized Gush Emunim outposts.
In sociological terms, outpost activity is in part an expression of Gush Emunim ‘frontier culture.’ Observers
of distinctive Gush Emunim sociology have adopted the behavioral classifications developed in studies of
frontier zones, including the rubric that, “frontiers are a characteristic of rudimentary socio-political relations;
                                                                                    66
relations marked by rebelliousness, lawlessness, and/or absence of laws.” Perpetuating this ‘frontier’
scenario, upon which much of Gush Emunim’s self-perception hinges, calls for eternal points of friction and
the periodic revitalization of the ‘pioneering’ spirit to which it is bound. The ‘marriage of convenience’
between Gush Emunim and the mainstream party political organs that champion its cause is suspended in
terms of this imperative, where Gush holds that due to their messianic importance, “immigration and
                                67
settlement are above the law.” According to Gush Emunim, the ‘honor’ of establishing new settlements is
second to none and an act that in itself confirms the lofty messianic-nationalist credentials of the movement
and its members: “[P]ioneering settlement is by nature carried out by a select population and not by the
          68
masses.”




66
   See, Goldberg, Giora, & Ben-Zadok, Efraim, Gush Emunim in the West Bank, Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, pp.52-73, pp. 54-56.
67
   Gush leadership 1981, quoted in ibid. p. 60.
68
   Gush statement in Nekudah, No. 4, February 1980, pp. 6-7.
                                                                                                                                      23
                                                                                                                                      69
                  Gush Emunim’s Relative Contribution to Outpost Erection During the Sharon Govt.

                   Unregistered
   United Torah        8%                                 Amana
     Judaism
                                                           63%          Movement Affiliated With                         No of Outposts in Sharon –
        2%
                                                                                “Mother Site”                                   Peres Period
NRP Movements                                                        Amana/Gush Emunim                                               30
     8%                                                              Unofficially Amana*                                              9
                                                                     HaPo’al HaMizrachi (NRP)                                         3
                                                                     HaKibbutz HaD'ati (NRP)                                          1
                                                                     Poalei Agudat Israel (UTJ)                                       1
            Amana -                                                  Unaffiliated                                                     4
            Unofficial
              19%

                                                                         * Refers to those sites established as ‘outposts of outposts’ where
                                                                         the original, though not the immediate, ‘mother’ site is affiliated with
                                                                         Gush Emunim (such as in the case of the outposts erected near
                                                                         Shvut Rachel – itself originally an ‘outpost’ of Amana-affiliated Shilo).




  5: Outposts, Areas of Exclusion and the Indigenous Population

  5:1 Ideological Settlement as an Anti-Palestinian Weapon

  As mentioned, many settlements currently expanding as urban or exurban components of the OPT
  settlement program were established without authorization by Gush Emunim or NRP-linked settlement
  movements. In the central ‘highlands’ of the West Bank this has been the rule rather than the exception,
  and it is deep in the heavily populated Palestinian rural hinterland that the impact of purely ideological
  settlement has been most intense.

  Mass urban settlement of the ‘Greater Jerusalem,’ Gush Etzion and Salfit/Qalqilya (‘Shomron’ Bloc) areas
  has been pursued systematically and efficiently by the Israelis and has been warmly praised by much of the
                           70
  international community. Today these urban blocs have utterly destroyed the Palestinian population’s
  future options and created de facto settler dominance on both demographic and geographic levels in large
  areas of the OPT. But the smaller settlements lying beyond the blocs are responsible for a more radical
  inversion of the status quo. It is deep in the remaining hinterland that the demographic imbalance is most
  pronounced and the level of control exerted through settlements and outposts clearest. Unlike the areas
  abutting the Green Line, such settlements are connected to economic and social service centers through
  extended corridors of bypass roads, and compel (or enable) the Israeli military to establish camps and
  patrols in and around Palestinian population centers which have no other point of contact with the Israeli
  presence.

  The commitment to the settlements expressed in the Oslo II (Interim) Agreement and guiding the
  subsequent minor redeployments, has transformed these more isolated and sparsely populated sites into
  anchors staking out the parameters of Palestinian movement and degrees of political liberty. Through this
  process, sites established in the 1980s and 1990s and struggling to absorb even a handful of families,
  have become cornerstones of defense and infrastructure planning over the last decade, controlling

  69
     Outposts included in the 48 include the 44 sites identified by Peace Now during its last 4 aerial surveys – current to June 2002, as well as 2 sites
  noted by Peace Now but excluded due to their partial paramilitary status (One near the Beit El T-Junction & a site near Beit Hagai settlement), a
  further site not listed in the latest report (Tapuach West), and a further site established in mid-2001 by settlers from Amana affiliated Halamish-
  Neve Tzuff, but since taken over and operating as a military encampment. Due to the limitations of access to the main settlement areas –
  especially in the remoter areas – this list is likely incomplete and will only be corrected when Peace Now makes a further aerial survey. The
  intention of the data displayed is to show the activities of the Amana/Gush Emunim movement in total, so sites abandoned and relocated in July
  2002 are still included in the data.
  70
     It may seem harsh to place blame on the diplomatic community for the mass urban settlement policies of successive Israeli governments, but
  alongside the creation of ‘facts on the ground,’ their approval plays a critical role. In saluting the ‘courage,’ and ‘understanding’ of the Camp
  David proposal made by Barak in 2000, the leaders (and not only the heads of state) of the US, Britain, Germany, Italy, Australia, and Canada
  each went far beyond the norms of international diplomacy to publicly endorse, often with specific emphasis, a plan for Jerusalem (originally
  drafted by Netanyahu in 1997 and condemned by the UNSC [incl. the US] in 1998) which expands the city’s area to stretch from Jericho (Mitzpe
  Yericho settlement) to Modi’in (via Givat Ze’ev), south beyond Bethlehem to the Gush Etzion bloc, and north beyond Ramallah to Ofra.
  Worldwide approval for this latest ‘Greater Jerusalem’ is a direct factor in multiplying the housing units therein. It is in this area that the current
  government has now decided to build half a billion NIS worth of new housing units. In another ‘approved’ bloc, ‘Shomron’, 350 apartments and
  130 plots for private construction were approved in April 2002, covering 400 dunums and linking the Elkana and Sharei Tikva settlements into a
  even larger urban sprawl over the lands of 4 Salfit and Qalqilya villages. The damage may well be irreversible, and has instantly transformed
  relatively remote and aggressively located sites such as Psagot into internationally acceptable locations for exurban Israeli commuter homes and
  new long-term planning. Retaining Psagot and expanding Bet El or Mitzpe Yericho is now enshrined in a ‘generous and historic’ vision of
  Palestine’s future shared by much of the western world.
                                                                                                                                                     24
phenomenal expanses of land and justifying the continued oppression of thousands of Palestinians. With
the cancellation of the peace process, this ‘interim’ role has been again transformed, as these sites and the
limits they have imposed upon Oslo-period Palestinian life, are adopted within a more ‘long-term’ vision of
extended Israeli military rule. Situations wholly unbearable during the five years between the Oslo II
Agreement and the Intifada are now set to be reinforced and worsened.

5:2 The Case of the Jenin Cantons

Perhaps the most pronounced example of the radical settlement program’s impact on Palestinian options
deep in the West Bank can be found in Jenin, where the largest Area A cantons were formed. In Jenin, two
Area A cantons were created during the Oslo process (and more than 20 scattered Area B enclaves).
Despite the cancellation of the Oslo maps and the military ‘defeat’ of the PA, the significance of the Oslo-
period exclusion zones remains current and is the basis upon which the present and future expansion of
Jewish-only jurisdiction will be drawn.

5:2:1 The Eastern Canton
The largest canton, to the east, runs north from the Elon Moreh settlement (in Nablus Governorate), into
Jenin Governorate, incorporating Tubas in the east, and then forks to accommodate the settlements of
Ganim and Qaddim, as well as a major military camp established on Qabatiya village land, running north in
the east to Deir Abu Da’if, and in the west to Silat al Harthiyah. The town of Jenin itself lies just inside this
western ‘fork’, although its lands and future growth are lost to the settlements lying to its east between the
two Area A ‘fingers’.

The settlement wedge dividing the two fingers prevents direct movement between the economic and
services hub of Jenin and the agricultural production-oriented villages of the eastern ‘finger,’ compelling
these communities to reinvent their relationship with the city and forcing the younger generation to relocate
for economic and education necessities. Maps of West Bank water sources shows this dividing wedge to
conform exactly to the location of the northern ‘Nablus – Gilbo’a’ aquifer, one of the three ‘high-yield’
pumping grounds in the OPT. Combined, the settlements justifying this situation have a population of
     71
306. Even the smallest Palestinian hamlets of the disenfranchised eastern ‘finger’ have populations of
                                                                                               72
over 750, while the total population left ‘the wrong side’ of Ganim and Qaddim is over 10,000.

To the west, a far more radical situation has been created in the formation of the smaller, western canton.
This canton is partially located in Tulkarm Governorate, running north from Kafr al Labad and Ramin
villages (above Einav and Avnei Hefetz settlements), to Seida and Arraba villages (below Mevo Dotan
settlement). To the west, this canton is denied contiguity with the town and service center of Tulkarm, to the
east it is separated from the larger canton by a corridor running from Shavei Shomron to Mevo Dotan. This
eastern corridor serves neither Mevo Dotan nor Shavei Shomron in any significant way, as both are linked
to Israel by western lateral roads (Rt.s 585 & 57 respectively). Instead, the corridor’s justification is found in
the two settlements of Homesh and Sa Nur, lying on the village lands of Burqa, Al Fandaqumiya, Silat adh
Dhahr and Jaba’. The road connecting these sites is the northern continuation of Rt. 60, which reaches
Jenin in the east, but access to the road for residents of either canton is effectively prevented for the
‘security’ of the settlements.




71
  Ganim: 158; Qaddim 148, CBS population figures correct at end of 2000. Unusually, YESHA puts the figures lower, at 130 and 100.
72
  Both Deir Ghazala and Beit Qad have populations of over 750. Other ‘stranded’ villages include Deir Abu Da’if (pop. 4781), Jalqamus (1686),
and Al Mughayyir (2023).
PCBS population figures for 2002.
                                                                                                                                         25
5:2:2 The Western Canton
Preventing the contiguity of the two cantons has had its most negative repercussions in the western
canton, where over 55,000 Palestinians live. Estrangement from the service and administrative centers
means even villages with populations in excess of 6,000 have as yet not been connected to a running
water network by the Palestinian Water Authority, while smaller villages close to the corridor have not only
had their long-standing socio-economic ties to eastern Jenin Governorate severed, but have been
                                                                                      73
marginalized in terms of PA services, exacerbating their developmental decline. Even comparing the
smallest of the eastern canton’s hamlets with the small villages abutting the corridor from the western
canton, reveals the distinct advantages denied those villages ‘the wrong side’ of the corridor. Thus, while Al
Manshiya (pop. 144) in the east has been connected – though not fully – to the electricity grid and has,
through its direct road link to Jenin, access to major markets, clinics and schools, Fahma (pop. 316) in the
west, has no public electricity supply, no reliable water supply, no sewage system and only an intermittent
solid-waste collection service, while it is also denied access to markets or PA ministerial offices in Qabatiya
and Jenin.
The losses in terms of land for these rural communities have been intense on both sides of the corridor and
when the de facto losses resulting from prevention of access rather than actual expropriation are taken into
consideration these losses are vast. An additional source of land loss, a characteristic of Oslo cartography,
has been the bifurcation of village lands by the corridor. The large villages of Arraba, ‘Ajja, Silat adh Dhahr
and Burqa have all lost between 60-90% of their rightful land holdings by virtue of the corridor and the
division it has created.
The following table indicates the estimated land losses of the principal localities on either side of the
corridor, including losses through bisection, prior expropriation and absorption de facto in the exclusion
                                          74
zone enforced along the corridor’s path. Those localities not shown as having lost land are not directly
affected by the corridor, but many have lost land to other settlement programs in the area.




73
   Such as ‘Illar (pop. 6,218).
74
   Principal localities are listed only, as the relevant data is not available for comprehensive coverage of the smaller localities lying within the
village boundaries of these. The large village of Arraba is surrounded by smaller hamlets and localities – here the population given includes these
outlying localities (Bir al Basha – 1,180; Al Hafira – 57 [1997, 2002 projection not available]; Wadi Du’oq – 87 [1997]; Fahma al Jadida – 316),
along with Arraba itself – 9,024.
                                                                                                                                                26
                                         Current Land Loss in the Homesh – Sa Nur Corridor
                                                                   West Canton
                              Village                 Population       Rightful Land      Approx. % of Land Effective Land Loss to
                                                        2002             Holdings           Holdings Lost       Settler Corridor
                                                                                                                   (dunums)

               An Nazla al Gharbiya                             800               1,509            7%                          106
               An Nazla ash Sharqiya                          1,489               4,840           60%                      2,904
               Seida                                          2,781               5,060
               Illar                                          6,218        Unavailable             n/a                         n/a
               Kafr Ra'i                                      7,063               7,328           10%                          733
               Fahma                                            316               4,498
               Arraba                                       10,664               39,901           88%                     35,112
               Ajja                                           4,649              11,027           60%                      6,616
               Ar Rama                                         8,15               4,768
               Bal'a                                          6,592              21,151
               Kafr Rumman                                      786               3,933
               Anabta                                         6,614              15,445            8%                      1,236
               Ramin                                          1,899               8,868           50%                      4,434
               Bizzariya                                      1,947               4,278            4%                          171
               Kafr al Labad                                  3,644              14,757           90%                     13,281
                                          TOTALS            56,277             147,363                                    64,593


                                                         Western 'Border' of East Canton
                              Village                 Population   Rightful Land   Approx. % of Land Effective Land Loss to
                                                        2002         Holdings        Holdings Lost       Settler Corridor
                                                                                                            (dunums)
               Mirka                                          1,404               4,396            4%                          176
               Az-Zawiya                                        634               1,066
               Anza                                           1,812               4,740           65%                      3,081
               Sanur                                          3,851              12,897           15%                      1,935
               Jaba'                                          7,862              24,620           48%                     11,817
               Al-Fandaqumiya                                 3,037               4,079           95%                      3,875
               Burqa                                          3,646              18,486           87%                     16,083
               Sabastiya                                      2,628               5,066           60%                      3,040
               An Naqura                                      1,500               5,507           70%                      3,855
               Silat adh Dahr                                 5,653               9,972           85%                      8,476
                                          TOTALS            32,027               90,829                                   52,338

These phenomenal losses – amounting to well over 100,000 dunums of vital agricultural land are not
inflated, but rather minimal estimates based on the current levels of exclusion and the current breadth of
the corridor. Projected settlement growth and increased ‘security’ cordons to either side of the corridor are
                                                                        75
very real future prospects and will increase the total de facto losses.

5:2:3 The Settlements Dividing the Cantons
Homesh and Sa Nur are the only civilian settlements in the corridor separating the two cantons. Together
                                               76
their population at the end of 2000 was 211. In addition to these sites, a paratroop training camp is
located to the east of Sa Nur, on Jaba’ and Sanur village land.
Sa Nur was established by Gush Emunim/Amana in 1982, Homesh was established two years earlier by a
smaller, secular movement but has since developed into a Gush Emunim-linked site.
                                    Settlement             Year Established            Population Dec. 2000
                                    Homesh                         1980                            159
                                    Sa Nur                         1982                             52
                                                                        TOTAL:                      211

Sa Nur is described by Gush Emunim as an ‘Artists Colony,’ and figured in the movement’s Oslo-period
immigrant absorption program (see above). The site is registered in Israel as a residential ‘communal’

75
     The land losses are calculated according to the village land boundaries recognized by the Israeli civil administration.
76
     CBS. YESHA figures are higher – 261.
                                                                                                                                     27
locality, as is Homesh. YESHA describe neither as religious communities, though both are populated by
national-religious settlers recruited in part through the Yitzhar and Shilo Gush Emunim yeshivoth.

Again, at no point prior to, during, or since the Oslo agreements defining the cantons, has there been any
justification whatsoever for the corridor dividing the Jenin cantons other than these two sites and their 211
settlers.

These sites, after 2 decades, have failed to attract more than a handful of settlers and yet have afforded
Israel the means to directly control the lives of the 24,638 Palestinians living in the villages confined to Area
                                                                            77
B status during the Oslo period by virtue of the corridor’s breadth. Indirectly, the division has also
victimized all 56,277 Palestinians residing in the western canton. 66,311 Palestinian residents of 18 villages
have been dispossessed of some or most of their village land as a result of the corridor.
The settlements themselves have virtually no potential for growth and are irrelevant in terms of
demographic goals set by the settlement movements or the government. However, in terms of obstructing
Palestinian options and exerting control over a massive non-Jewish population, they satisfy the other
ideological mores of the Gush Emunim hard core. In the corridor itself (i.e.; excluding the cantons’ Area A
interior and the villages whose land has been lost but whose built-up area remains untouched by the
corridor), settlers control the lives and destinies of 117 indigenous Palestinians per head. Here, as in
several other areas of ideological settlement, the race-supremacy conceptions at the core of the entire
settlement program are at their most repugnant and undeniable.
The Gush settlers at Homesh are well aware of this fact, and here as elsewhere it serves to bolster their
‘frontier culture’ self-perception. During the last year settlers have proudly described the sites as being in,
                                                                                                          78
“one of the most dangerous places in the Middle East, “ and as such representing a, “daring challenge.”

5:3 Gush Emunim: Outposts of Outposts
5:3:1 Einav – Avnei Hefetz
Einav settlement, in the east of Tulkarm governorate, lies beneath the western Jenin canton described
above, on the lands of Ramin (predominantly), ‘Anabta, Beit Lid and Kafr al Labad villages. Through Einav,
and Avnei Hefetz to its west, Israeli control over Rt. 57 is extended from south of Tulkarm (where the road
meets the Green Line), 18km into the West Bank, to join the Rt. 60 settlement arterial, at Shavei Shomron.
As in the corridor splitting the Jenin cantons, the Avnei Hefetz, Einav sites represent the only justification
for continued Israeli control over this 18km wedge, as Shavei Shomron, like Sa Nur and Homesh to the
north, and Kedumim to the south, are linked-up to Rt. 60 and hence have high-speed access to the
massive ‘Shomron’ Bloc settlements to the south. The ‘Shomron’ sites are in any regard now far richer in
terms of services, employment, medical centers etc., than the Israeli centers to the east of Tulkarm and as
such provide the socio-economic foundations for the settlements running north along Rt. 60.
The Einav-Avnei Hefetz corridor has been used to prevent the western Jenin canton’s union
with the unsettled village lands lying to its south, between Rt.57 and the ‘Shomron’ bloc. These 13 principal
villages remained under exclusive Israeli security control (Area B) in the Oslo period and are surrounded as
an enclave by settlements – ‘Shomron’ to the south, Kedumim and Shavei Shomron to the east, Sal’it and
Tzuffim to the west, and the Einav-Avnei Hefetz sites to the north. All told, over 20,000 Palestinians living in
                                                                                            79
this detached Area B enclave are barred access to any single sizable Palestinian center. In addition, the
village of Shufa (pop. 1,133) has been stranded in the center of the Einav-Avnei Hefetz corridor, and
robbed of its exercisable rights over more than 11,000 of its 11,690 dunums. Shufa’s village area includes
the two hamlets, ‘Izbat Shufa and Kafa (pop. 891 and 315 respectively). Only the immediate built-up areas
of these three localities, totaling a little over 200 dunums, was included in the Area B pocket afforded the
                                   80
2,339 Palestinians living there. Access to the remainder of the village land is at the discretion of the
settlers and Israeli military.
The settlement of Einav provides an example of the Gush Emunim outpost phenomenon, both past and
present. Established as an unauthorized 11-caravan outpost – ‘Shavei Shomron Bet’ – in 1981, the site
was sanctioned by the government, in 1982, as part of its policy of ‘recompense’ following the Yamit/Sinai
evacuations. Gush Emunim was registered as its affiliate. Gush supporters were enlisted from the Netanya
area and the site gradually developed into a communal, religious settlement along familiar Gush Emunim


77
   ‘Anza, Jaba’, Al Fandaqumiya, Burqa, Sabastiya and Silat adh Dhahr villages.
78
   The views of Menorah Katzover (daughter of Gush founding member and Elon Moreh settler Beni Katzover), who moved into Homesh in 2001,
in Ha’Aretz, Fear is the Spur, March 29 2002.
Ms. Katzover’s views on the indigenous population are likely typical of the Sa Nur – Homesh settlers: “They’re not a people and they don’t
deserve a state, and its not at all moral of us to talk about a Palestinian state. What is their history? They’re just a collection of refugees.”
On the land she occupies: “Every blossoming tree makes me joyful because this is my landscape… I especially love Nablus and I’ve dreamed of
living there. It’s ours, and that’s it.”
Ibid.
79
   PALDIS – LDC population data.
80
   PCBS and PALDIS – LDC data.
                                                                                                                                             28
lines. Ten years later, Einav ‘sprouted’ a sister site to the west in the shape of Avnei Hefetz, another Gush
Emunim enterprise, authorized in 1990 on the land of Shufa and Kafr al Labad.
Today about a hundred national religious families live in Einav (pop. 504), while Avnei Hefetz, c.5km closer
to the Green Line, has grown somewhat faster and houses 785 settlers.

5:3:2 Einav’s New Outposts
Neither Einav nor Avnei Hefetz were included in any final-status annexation blocs during the failed talks of
2000-2001. The two sites are slightly too distant from each other to be considered a viable ‘cluster’ in the
foreseeable future and would in any case represent less than 1,300 settlers, meaning annexation of the
minimum additional Palestinian localities lying in the corridor itself (see above) would mean adding nearly 2
non-Jews per settler to Israel’s precious demographic mix. Even if the annexations of the ‘Shomron’ bloc
are eventually extended north along Rt. 60 to Shavei Shomron, via Kedumim, the demographic aspect
becomes increasingly less appealing to Israel as the road stretches north and would be utterly unviable by
the intersection with Rt. 57: Kedumim houses 2,700 settlers, Shavei Shomron only 600, and Einav 504. So,
while absorbing Kedumim is perhaps a long-term option, Shavei Shomron, Einav and Avnei Hefetz have
never presented the likelihood of surviving an equitable peace deal with the Palestinians.
Over the 17 months since Sharon took office, the Einav settlement has set about the establishment of 3
new outposts, roughly equidistant from one another in a ring around the ‘mother’ site and connected by a
hub of dirt roads. In addition, land leveling and terracing has been begun to the north and northeast of the
site for more permanent housing and an outer ring road partially paved, to enclose a large amount of land
between the built-up area of the settlement and the outposts.
                                                                                    81
                                                                   Einav 2002


                      North                                                                                                           Ramin
                                                                           Building
                                                                           Projects                                  Outpost 1
                                        Area enclosed by
                                        newly paved roads
            Kafr al Labad




                                                                                                                                Rt. 57

                                                                   Built-up
                                                                   Area


              Outpost 2



                                                                                         Outpost 3




                                                                                                       Area effectively contained
                                                                               Beit                    within expanded area
                              500m (approx.)                                   Lid



Neither the new outposts nor the construction around the built-up area of the site are actually illegal in the
Israeli sense of the word; master plans currently authorized allow for the current number of housing units
                82
(100) to triple. However, neither are the outposts an approved and planned effort to implement this
sanctioned growth. Instead, they are an attempt to ‘stake out’ a grand vision of the settlement’s future for
domestic consumption/reassurance, giving its 100 families an immediate purpose and a long-term dream –
both of which serve to keep the ‘frontier’ and the ‘challenge’ at their doorstep.

Haim Weiss, who serves as the settlement secretary has an inflated estimation of the long-term prospects
of Einav: “First we’ll expand here, to the north, then there to the east, and then we’ll connect with


81
     The sketch is based on an aerial photograph and as such suffers from slight distortion due to the angle of the original image.
82
     Settlement secretary Haim Weiss interviewed in, Ha’Aretz, In God’s Hands, May 25 2002.
                                                                                                                                              29
                83
Kedumim…” But Kedumim is fully 10km to the south east and separated by a considerable amount of as-
yet-unexpropriated Palestinian (Beit Lid, Deir Sharaf) village lands.

Einav’s multiple outposts are an expression of the settlement’s reaction to the challenge briefly posed by
the 2000 final-status maps and the conflict raging over the last 20 months. The outposts serve as a
galvanizing and cathartic community enterprise, setting the goal-posts for future expansion and
permanence. In establishing the largest of the outposts – northeast into Ramin land (and closer to the Area
A ‘frontier’) – Einav’s leadership announced an ‘inauguration’ ceremony, in the form of a community
procession from the ‘mother’ site to the hillock, temporarily naming the site “Hagiv'a Hatzfonit” (the
Northern Hill). No one lives there permanently, but the 13 caravans on the hill are symbolically occupied 3
or 4 nights a week and nightly prayer services are held there. The other two outposts are so far only
                                         84
equipped with large shipping containers.

These, like the other outposts of the Sharon-Peres period, are now the ‘isolated and remote’ locations
where future governments’ evacuation efforts will be tested, while Shavei Shomron Bet/Einav is left intact.

5:3:3 Einav’s Outposts & the Military

In mid-2001 an armored unit was stationed around Einav, guarding the settlements, the road and the
outposts as they appeared. In July part of this unit took up ‘lodgings’ in one of Einav’s first outposts in
accordance with an understanding reached with the settlers that, “the IDF will hold the location, that is vital
                                                                                                      85
for the security of the residents,” and that, “this is not related to the general issue of outposts.”

Reinforced by this detachment, Einav settlers engaged in a number of familiar acts of violence against the
indigenous population, attacking the surrounding villagers in their fields during the last olive harvest after
                                                                                           86
burning several hundred dunums of olive, fig and almond orchards near the settlement. The resident tank
unit contributed to the assault, with major land-leveling/tree uprooting operations in and around the village
                                                      87
of Kafr al Labad in mid-October (mid-olive harvest). In November, similar destruction was carried out on
the lands of Kafa, ‘Izbat Shufa, and Shufa localities, and in January 2002, bulldozers extended the hub of
                                                                             88
dirt roads connecting the outposts further into Beit Lid and Ramin lands. Following ‘Operation Defensive
Wall,’ the army stationed a unit of 60 reservists at the ‘Northern Hill’ site, though they are there alongside
                                      89
rather than in place of the settlers.

At Einav, the outposts have reinvigorated the local settler community, staked out its territorial ambitions,
and supplemented the site’s role as staging–post for military offensives against the Palestinian population.
They have simultaneously advanced the settlement’s front-line deep into the surrounding villages and
increased its levels of confrontation with the non-Jewish population, at a time when the latter is all but
defenseless. Despite this, Einav remains an isolated and remote site, with little prospect for the mass urban
settlement needed to gain international and domestic support. If the tanks and reservists were to be
withdrawn, and a peace process born, Einav would return to its true status as a tiny radical community of
100 families squatting on seized agricultural land with a set of unoccupied trailer homes spread across the
horizon. Einav has a lot to lose, in terms of its identity as much as its physical future, should such a lull in
the conflict be allowed.




83
   Ibid.
84
   Ibid.
85
   Statement of YESHA spokesman, 4 July 2001, quoted in Arutz Shev’a, Einav Outpost - Civilians Being Replaced by Army, 5 July 2001.
86
   A reported 516 dunums of orchards were burnt in June 2001.
Al-Quds, 17 June 2001.
87
   Al-Quds, 10 October 2001.
88
   Al-Quds, 2 November 2001.
Al-Quds, 3 January 2002.
89
   Ha’Aretz, In God’s Hands, May 25 2002.




                                                                                                                                       30
5:4 Mevo Dotan – Ganim: Lost Outposts?

Patterns similar to those displayed at Einav are repeated in many isolated sites, if not to such an extent.
Mevo Dotan, to the north of the western Jenin canton, is an example worthy of note. Mevo Dotan was also
established by Gush Emunim in 1981, and remains an isolated site occupied by less than 300 settlers. In
1999, a minority (11 families) broke away from the ideological core and the ‘founding fathers’ to adopt a
platform demanding compensation and evacuation to Israel proper: “The government sent me here, let the
                                  90
government take me out of here.”

Clearly the government had no such plans and in 2000, the 11 families abandoned the site unilaterally and
without compensation. Having faced this ‘mutiny’ and a sudden reduction in their number, the remaining
community – devoid of its more ‘moderate’ members – reacted to the final-status maps and Intifada with an
outpost to the west of the existing (and half-empty) site. As at Einav, the expansion is not aimed at
achieving increased long-term political security through bloc-formation, but comes as an expression of
defiance and out of a need to revitalize flagging motivation. In June 2002, a detachment of the Zionist
                                                                             91
revisionist youth movement, Betar, was dispatched to “reinforce” Mevo Dotan.

More so than in Einav, the Mevo Dotan case underscores the abject failure of Israeli governments to
encourage, even afford, the voluntary ‘repatriation’ of a trapped and un-willing settler minority. In Ganim
(see above), a significant number of the site’s 158 settlers have likewise made calls for evacuation and
accused the government of placing them in an economic trap. With the 80,000 NIS government housing
loans converted into grants only after a stay of 15 years, one resident complains, “[i]t’s lost money, we’re

90
     Ha’Aretz, Hard Times for Mevo Dotan, 4 June 2001.
91
     Ha’Aretz, On the Other Side of the Separation Fence, 24 June 2002.
                                                                                                         31
dying to leave here, but we can’t do it on our own. We’re in a trap – they made us a prison. Only an
                                                           92
organized removal under government auspices will save us.”

Another resident, an original founder and hard-line settler agrees: “I’ve always been in favor of the Greater
Land of Israel… I don’t like the left, I hate those sanctimonious people… but there’s no alternative. Let
them give us a house in exchange and get us out of here. There’s no infrastructure, there’s no growth, how
can we live here? I was naïve, I feel like I was stupid. All our wealth is buried here and someone has to
compensate us… The majority wants to be moved, that’s for certain, but no one dares to get organized…
                                      93
People are scared to tell the truth.”

As mentioned above, Ganim and Qadim’s 306 settlers define the destiny of over 10,000 villagers to the
east and totally destroy the developmental options for Jenin city to the west.

Without organized evacuation and compensation – and apparently there will be none – Ganim’s ‘weak’ may
still abandon the site for development towns in the Galilee or Negev, where benefits will enable them to
survive the loss of their homes and investments, leaving a hard-core facing the Mevo Dotan scenario.

Unlike Einav, these are the sites where ideology and leadership has proven unsustaining over the Oslo
period and absorption of economic migrants has diluted the pioneering ‘spirit’ of the community, leaving it a
bit-part in a military mapping exercise with little or no illusion of civilian purpose.

The close ties between the Gush Emunim leadership and the government, WZO and military, makes it
highly unlikely outposts actually occupied will be evacuated at any point in the future unless external
pressure is brought to bear. In the meantime new sites will proliferate and existing outposts will continue to
be ‘upgraded’ into entrenched settlements.

At a recent funeral of Itamar settlers, Amana Dir. Gen., Hever was seen accompanied by Avraham
Duvdevani, head of the World Zionist Organization’s Land Settlement Division; as Ha’Aretz’s veteran
                                                                                                    94
settlements correspondent remarked: “It was not difficult to imagine what they were talking about.”

5:5 Gush Emunim: Outposts of Outposts of Outposts

5:5:1 The Talmon Cluster

Shortly after Begin came to power in 1977, Gush Emunim set up an unauthorized outpost on land
belonging to the Palestinian village of An Nabi Salih, in northern Ramallah governorate. Ariel Sharon (then
head of the Inter-Ministerial Settlement Committee) authorized the site the next year, following a precedent-
setting legal case. The Gush settlers fenced off 200 dunums of village land and when legally challenged by
the owners, adopted a stance that was to define expropriation procedures throughout the West Bank. As
the village had not been covered in the limited land registration conducted by the Jordanian authorities, the
owners were unable to show updated land titles, but only tax registration documents indicating their
                      95
landholdings in total. The court ruled these documents insufficient to prove title and turned the An Nabi
Salih case into a springboard for land seizure across the OPT. Bulldozers began leveling the site there in
March 1978 – it came to be known as Neve Tzuff, though in 1981, the High Court upheld a ‘State Names
Committee’ decision to rename it Halamish and it has ever since been referred to by either name.

NeveTzuff-Halamish now sits at the northern tip of the Talmon settlement cluster, with the 1982 Gush site
Ateret just to its east. In 1983, Gush Emunim established Dolev, a site some 3km northwest of Ramallah
and 9km directly south of Neve Tzuff. Then, in 1984, the NRP established Nahli’el settlement 3km south of
Neve Tzuff and 6km north of Dolev. In 1989, Gush founded the outpost which became Talmon, just 2.5km
north of Dolev and 3.5km from the Nahli’el site. Two years later, in 1991, the Talmon North (Talmon Bet or
Neriah) outpost was established just beyond the settlement limits.

In the Oslo-period outpost dash, Talmon C and D appeared between Dolev and Talmon, bringing the
number of sites in the ‘mini bloc’ running from Ateret to Dolev up to 8 and consolidating a cluster exerting
control over vast swathes of Palestinian cultivated agricultural land.




92
   Meretz voting settler, Galit Yarden, quoted in Ha’Aretz, Impaled on a Pinhead, 18 May 2001.
93
   Ganim settler leader (requesting anonymity), Ibid.
94
   Ha’Aretz, On the Other Side of the Separation Fence, 24 June 2002.
95
   See, Harris, William, Taking Root, Israeli settlement Policy in the West Bank, the Golan and Gaza-Sinai, 1967-1980, New Zealand: University
of Otago, 1981, pp. 152-153.
                                                                                                                                          32
                                          Current Land Loss in the Talmon Cluster & Connecting Corridor

Settlement           Year Established          Population            Principal Village             Palestinian         Approx. % Village              Estimated Dunums
in Talmon                                        2001                  Losing Land                 Population         Land Effectively Lost            Lost To Talmon
  Cluster                                                                                                                   by 2002                   Cluster & Corridor
Neve Tzuff                1977/8                   950            An Nabi Salih                       463                    75%                           2,134
                                                                  Deir Nidham                         803                    82%                           1,589
                                                                  Jibiya                              141                    60%                            999
                                                                  Umm Safa                            637                    78%                           3,184
   Ateret                  1982                    302            Umm Safa                           (637)                   12%                            490
                                                                  ‘Ajjul                             1,281                   20%                           1,328
   Dolev                   1983                    880            Al Janiya                          1,034                   36%                           2,723
                                                                  ‘Ein Qinya                          713                    50%                           1,247
  Nahli’el                 1984                    244            Al Mazra al Qibliya                3,749                   26%                           3,442
                                                                  Kobar                              3,242                   48%                           4,645
                                                                  Beitilu                            2,723                   62%                           8,314
  Talmon                   1989                   1,250           Al Janiya                         (1,034)                  26%                           1,966
                                                                  Ras Karkar                         1,677                   30%                           1,770
                                                                  Deir ‘Ammar                        1,969                  20%*                           1,437
 Talmon B                  1991                    280            Al Mazra al Qibliya               (3,749)                  28%                           3,707
 Talmon C                  1996                    n/a            Al Janiya                         (1,034)                  15%                           1,134
 Talmon D                  1998                    n/a            Al Janiya                         (1,034)                  15%                           1,134
* - Deir ‘Ammar loses a further 50% of its village land (3,595 dunums) to the Na’aleh settlement to the southwest and the land connecting this to the cluster.
                 TOTALS:                          3,906                                             18,432                                                   41,243
            The effective exclusion from over 40,000 dunums of agricultural land for the 12 principal villages within or
                                                                                                                 96
            on either side of the Talmon cluster is only the immediate impact of the sites and their outposts. The
            potential long-term impact is far more serious and affects many more Palestinians.
            5:5:2 The Talmon Settlers & The Military
            5:5:2:1 The Veteran Outposts and Preparations for Slaughter
            Shortly before presenting his Camp David annexation plans, which eventually excluded the Talmon
                                                                                 97
            settlements, PM Barak authorized new housing units for the cluster. Throughout the Oslo process, Gush
            Emunim’s Talmon settlers proved a formidable lobbying force, succeeding not only in gaining government
            sponsorship for their 2 additional settlements, but expanding the reach of the existing sites and placing
            continual pressure on the military and government to bolster their dominance in the cluster area.
            Even as Talmon D was successfully established, the local settler leaders called on world Jewry to, “raise a
            bitter and desperate outcry which will be heard over all the radios and read in all the newspapers – that
                                                                  98
            Israel must take the situation into hand immediately.” Speaking in the name of Dolev, Talmon(im), Nili,
            Neve Tzuff, Ateret and Nahli’el settlers, Gush Emunim claimed, “at times we hear ourselves surrounded by
            cannon and automatic weapons fire, we see – even without the aid of binoculars – how the Arabs are
            practicing with their machine guns, running and shooting, running and shooting, training carefully and
            well… preparing literally day and night to overrun and, God forbid, slaughter the Jewish communities
                   99
            here.”
            Given the fact that the Oslo maps left Israel in exclusive military control over the entire area surrounding
            the settlements, the likelihood of much “running and shooting, running and shooting,” is slim, but this did
            not prevent the settlement leaders from accusing the army of adopting a “do-nothing policy,” being
                                                       100
            “incapable,” and even, “cruel and cynical.” The Neve Tzuff settlement, which comes closest to bordering
            Area A is actually flanked by a military camp, while the road running south to Dolev and serving the
            outposts and settlements between has been effectively secured by the army as a Jewish-only domain since
                                                     101
            YESHA’s ‘Operation Roadblock’ of 1993.
            More so than those of Einav, the settlers of the Talmon cluster have persistently encouraged the army
            further and further into Palestinian village land. During the Oslo period, virtually every hilltop in the Talmon
            – Dolev stretch was occupied by caravans, connected to circuitous connecting roads, and distributed so as
            to rule out any Palestinian access to the cultivated land lying in between. At least 7 such outposts were
            created from 1993 – 2000, though the paved roads and rapid conversion to housing projects with which
            these activities were rewarded merged 2 with the existing Talmon and Dolev sites, transformed a further 4



            96
                Village lands according to Israeli civil administration maps. Areas of exclusion are calculated according to the share of the villages’ total land
            falling beyond Area B control and under settlement planning or jurisdictional areas. This includes large portions of cultivated and legally owned
            orchards to which Palestinians have at times been allowed access, but at the discretion of the settlers and military.
            97
               Ha’Aretz, Government Still Promoting Building in the Settlements, 16 January 2001.
            98
               “Letter to the Rabbis of the Jewish People in Every Place”, reproduced by IMRA, July 30 1998.
            99
               Ibid.
            100
                Ibid.
            101
                See, Shaw Smith, The Israeli Settler Movement Post-Oslo, Op. Cit., p.103.
                                                                                                                                                              33
into Talmon C and Talmon D and left only one ‘isolated’ site, as the cluster rapidly became a contiguous
bloc.
5:5:2:2 The New Outposts: “Let The Young Men Now Arise and Play Before Us.”

During the last 18 months, the exclusion of Palestinians from the cluster area has been total, not just as a
result of strict military enforcement throughout the corridor, but also due to fear of settler and/or military
assault.
Ten days into the Intifada the partly mutilated body of a 39-year old Umm Safa resident was found near
                           102
Neve Tzuff settlement.         During the 2000 olive harvest, armed settlers assaulted villagers as they
attempted to reach or return from their fields. On literally dozens of occasions, villagers were forced at
gunpoint to abandon their harvests in the fields, after laboring all day to pick, sort and bag the crop, as
                                        103
armed settlers looked on from hilltops.
By mid-2001, the settlers were ‘invading’ the surrounding villages with impunity, both alongside the “do-
nothing” army and alone. In June 2001, Umm Safa was attacked, homes shot at by settlers and cars
                        104
vandalized beyond use. By July 2001, settlers had extended their ‘road patrols’ to the Nili-bound route
                                                                            105
south of Deir ‘Ammar, attacking Palestinian vehicles and passengers. The army’s bulldozing of village
                                                                                                            106
land began in earnest at around this point, after settlers initiated the process themselves with chainsaws.
At the same time, the settlers demanded the army occupy a hill to the northeast of Neve Tzuff (Hill 540),
                                                                                                         107
reminding them that the land was, “already expropriated, [and] it wouldn’t be any problem to take it.” In
the end the settlers and soldiers manned the new hill in shifts, until the military agreed to set up a
permanent paramilitary outpost at the site. As the 2001 olive season commenced, the settlers stepped up
their exclusion patrols in the corridor, erecting a new (and expansive) outpost north of Talmon B, on one of
                                             108
the last elevated positions in the cluster.      Not satisfied with the depopulation of the cluster area itself,
settlers then stormed through the village of Al Janiya (between Dolev and the Talmonim) shooting and
                        109
vandalizing properties.     A day prior to the attack on Al Janiya, soldiers were seen adding a makeshift
                                               110
caravan site to the main Talmon settlement.
The end of 2001 found the settlers demonstrating in demand of “better protection” from the military.
Following the Hanukkah holiday, children were kept home from the Dolev schools to protest “the army’s
          111
laxness.”     Three days later, when a military vehicle laden with ammunition overturned in Dolev
settlement, igniting the settlers’ own “community ammunition warehouse,” the same settlers raced to
charge the army with “gross negligence in allowing a truck loaded with explosive ammunition to enter a
                     112
residential area...”
The next month (January 2002), a second-hand shipping crate bought by Amana for NIS 5,000 from the
Ashdod Port Authority, was placed between Nahli’el and Talmon B, being over 1km from any established
site and connected by a lengthy track ploughed through what little Mazra al Qibliya village land remains.
Here, the lack of creature comforts meant the “incapable” military were left to guard the site alone.
Eventually, Amana agreed to sacrifice the “dummy site” as part of the deal with Labor leader Ben Eliezer
reached in June 2002 – leaving the more substantial outpost to its south intact.
Then, in May 2002, the latest ‘outpost’ was erected – this time with apparent military assistance – on An
Nabi Salih and Deir Nidham lands. The structure in question this time was a new swimming pool adjacent
to Neve Tzuff. Of itself the pool is not detached from the existing planning area of the settlement, and might
only seem a crass reminder of the settlers 6-fold allocation of water resources over their Palestinian
‘neighbors.’ However – as indicated in the map below, the pool, roads connected to it and perimeter of
Palestinian agricultural land razed in its construction, have made the settler’s recreation facility a very



102
    The body of Issam Juda was burnt and had cuts to the face and stomach. Israeli soldiers stationed at Neve Tzuff denied any settler involvement,
claiming the death was a result of a car accident, though they presented no evidence to support this and have refused to investigate the cause of
death. The Juda family home is at the western edge of Umm Safa village and the family orchards are among the closest to the settlement. Issam
Juda’s brother told LDC at the time that the family – and especially Issam – had previously had a number of ‘run-ins’ with settlers while
attempting to access their land. Issam Juda was last seen alive going to these orchards, a distance of some 750m and on agricultural roads where
fatal, explosive car accidents can be assumed reasonable infrequent. Regardless of the actual cause of death, which will remain unknown, the
experiences of the local Palestinians are such that mutilation and murder by settlers is certainly considered a real, compelling and frightening
danger.
103
    Testimony given to LDC by Umm Safa, Deir Nidham, Al Mazra al Qibliya, Beitilu and Al Janiya villagers. These acts witnessed by LDC –
PALDIS researchers during 2000 harvest in the vicinity of Neve Tzuff settlement.
104
    LAW, Settler Crimes Report, 19 June 2001.
105
    Ibid., 18 July 2001.
106
    Ha’Aretz, Neve Tzuf’s List of Miracles, 17 June 2001
107
    Ibid.
108
    The outpost was erected sometime between September 2001 and mid-October, and spreads over an area as large as many established
settlements, with two paved roads and over 20 caravans erected by 2002.
109
    Wafa Bulletin, 30 October 2001.
110
    Al-Quds, 29 October 2001.
111
    Arutz Shev’a, 18 December 2001.
112
    Arutz Shev’a, 21 December, 2001.
                                                                                                                                               34
                                         113
aggressive tool of expansion. In every instance the “do nothing” military have been doing their share of
the bulldozing, and enforcing the exclusion perimeter necessary to expedite the expansion.
This staggering relationship between the military and the settlers of the cluster stems directly from the
                                                                              114
profound sense of superiority with which Gush Emunim ideology is charged. The Talmon settlers believe
they, and not the army, have the God-given ability to depopulate and dominate the area. The head of the
local settler militia (who is a Bar Ilan university professor and serves as a ‘strategic advisor’ to the Israeli
army’s ‘behavioral science research department’), says of his armed comrades: “I admire us… we are the
soldiers, each and every one of us. Defeat or victory will be determined by spirit, and we are victorious in
spirit… The level of performance and functioning of the people within this war is increasing. This crisis
situation wrings the best out of them… In another 30 years we’ll get commendations for our courageous
stand here.”
Turning to the Bible, the militia-head/doctor of psychology/messianic settler claims to know what God is
thinking: “My sense is that the leadership upstairs has the attitude of - ‘Let the young men now rise up and
                                   115
play before us.’” [Samuel II 2:17]
5:5:2:3 Neve Tzuff – Exploiting the Exclusion Zone – June 2002
Sitting at the top of the line of settlements making up the cluster, Neve Tzuff sits on expropriated land
belonging to An Nabi Salih and Deir Nidham villages. Both of these villages are currently closed by the
army which has set up blockades and placed snipers a few yards short of their built up areas. Exit from
these small villages is prevented in virtually every instance and has cost the life of at least one ailing An
                                                                                     116
Nabi Salih resident who was unable to reach medical facilities and died as a result.
The expansion of the exclusion zone since mid-2001 has gradually prevented local access to upwards of
1,000 dunums – 400 of these in the last 3 months. Within this area are at least 3 important (permanent)
springs – of a total of 5 in the village’s land area – and several lower-yield (temporary) springs. The olive
orchards lying beyond the village in the direction of the settlement were burnt and then razed by settlers
and the military in several stages beginning in July 2001. To the east of An Nabi Salih, a small forest –
ostensibly a nature reserve – has been added to the exclusion zone and the small dirt track running around
its perimeter is currently undergoing widening and extension at the hands of settlers. Located within and
around the forest are further springs and orchards now excluded from Palestinian areas of access.
Exploiting the total captivity of the small villages to their north and west, Neve Tzuff residents have recently
expanded their physical presence well into the area of exclusion, completing a swimming pool and paved
access road in recent weeks. This in turn has been connected to a newly paved road and a third road – as
yet unpaved – was carved around the perimeter of the burnt orchards in late June. In addition, an area of
razed agricultural land has been enclosed in an inner ring of razor wire.
To the east of the built up area of the settlement, two military camps – one genuinely military, the other a
paramilitary settlement with civilian occupants – make it hard to imagine this intense activity has been
undertaken against the wishes of the army or government. The area of exclusion infringes slightly on areas
considered Area B during the Oslo period, but otherwise is guided by the Area C lines with minor
adjustments. Reducing the movement of 463 An Nabi Salih residents to the built up area of their small
village robs them of exercisable rights over 98% of their village’s 2,846 dunums.
The sketch map below indicates the minimum area of exclusion currently enforced by the settlers and
military. (Springs falling within this area are marked with dark dots.) To the south, the area of exclusion
                                                                                                2
extends for roughly 9km, until the village of Ras Karkar – being in all an are of more than 40km . The limits
of the exclusion zone should not be seen as static; they have been extended in the Neve Tzuff area twice
in the last fortnight (June 21 – July 2).




113
    Settlers in the West Bank receive – in accordance with the distribution quotas enforced since 1995 – 6 times the West Bank Palestinian
allocation of water per capita. In Gaza the y receive 30 times the Gazan population’s allocation and altogether, Israelis receive an average of 12
times that afforded the Palestinians – whose per capita consumption rate is nearly half the WHO recommended minimum of 100 liters per day.
114
    Despite the strategic policy of aligning itself with as broad a spectrum of Israeli public opinion as possible, internal Gush Emunim material is
replete with examples this elitism. Opinion pieces in the settler journals provide endless examples: “We really are better than you [non-messianic
settlers and secular Jews]. You should learn from us… Come to us, follow us, to different vistas – in soul in spirit, in values.”
Gush Emunim statement, quoted in Goldberg & Ben-Zadok, Gush Emunim in the West Bank, Op. Cit., p. 72.
115
    Bar Ilan Professor of Educational Psychology and Neve Tzuff militia leader, Dr. Shlomo Kaniel, quoted in Ha’Aretz, Neve Tzuf’s List of
Miracles, 17 June 2001.
116
    Testimony of An Nabi Salih residents referring to an incident in late 2001.
                                                                                                                                                  35
                                                                                                                        117
                   Settler Activity in the Northern Talmon Cluster Exclusion Zone – June 2002




5:5:3 Options for a Talmon – Modi’in Merger
To the west of the Talmon line, two additional Gush Emunim sites – Nili (est. 1981) and Na’aleh (1988) –
form a tentative settlement link between the large urban blocs to their north and south and the Gush cluster
to their east. Though Nili and Na’aleh house relatively few settlers (721 and 137 respectively), their position
between the huge Modi’in/Kiryat Sefer bloc and the Beit Arye bloc to the north gives them ample cause to
anticipate eventual annexation to Israel. Should enough time be granted these sites and an appropriately
unilateral policy adopted by Israel, these two sites will present a corridor tying the Talmon cluster to the
previously proposed urban annexation bloc, in much the same way the small sites of Kfar Tappuach and
Rechalim (pop. 400 & 60) have served to link the Shilo bloc (pop. c.4,000) to the urban annexation bloc of
‘Shomron.’
Unlike the Shilo bloc, the Talmon cluster is served by two additional connecting corridors. In the north,
Ateret and Neve Tzuff control Rt.465 – the main lateral which enters the West Bank at Beit Arye and has
served as the line of control barring the Ramallah city area from the larger Area A canton lying in the
central West Bank. This road ties the north of the Talmon cluster, and its veteran settlement, to the
developing southwestern reaches of the ‘Shomron’ bloc as suggested in the Camp David 2000 maps.
To the south, another scenario presents itself in the ongoing implementation of the ‘Greater Jerusalem’ –
Tel Aviv ‘Metropolitan Master Plan’ of 1994. This plan already calls for the settlement bloc of Givat Ze’ev to
serve as the bridge west from the Ma’ale Adumim/E1 project, through the southern Ramallah villages, to
the Modi’in bloc and from there to Tel Aviv via the new airport extensions. Lying only 4.5km south of Dolev,
Beit Horon represents the westernmost reach of the Givat Ze’ev bloc so far, while Givat Ze’ev itself is
expanding greatly through a new ‘neighborhood’ being built to its west, alongside the Modi’in highway.




117
   This map is based on LDC field research, local testimony and recent photographs compiled with Israeli topographical maps and current to June
30 2002.
                                                                                                                                            36
5:5:3:1 Demographic & Strategic Considerations in Annexing the Talmon Cluster

With all three options conceivable given a suitable period of time, the Talmon cluster represents a serious
long-term threat to the remaining western Ramallah Governorate. Israel’s willingness to annex large
portions of the OPT is, though, contingent on the demographic balance being kept in its favor. An
examination of the options for annexation shows this demographic aspect to be less of an obstacle than
might be thought.

Annexing through the northern, Neve Tzuff – Beit Arye, option would necessitate the absorption of only Deir
Nidham and ‘Abud villages – with a total population of less than 3,000 Palestinians. However, this would
not be in keeping with Israel’s desire to limit the reach of the Ramallah center, as it would invite forming a
Palestinian canton running from the west of the city, through Kafr Ni’ma and Ras Karkar, north to Deir Abu
Masha’al. This would grant the likely center of whatever Palestinian political entity is allowed to form,
uninterrupted territorial control along ridges overlooking the Modi’in, Givat Ze’ev and Talmon settlements,
while reducing Israel’s ability to exclusively control the rich groundwater sources lying in an approximate
10km-wide strip from Latrun to Beit Arye (where they join the major aquifer lying below the ‘Shomron’ bloc
settlements).

Annexing via the Givat Ze’ev expansion and Modi’in highway to the south would successfully destroy
Ramallah’s western reach and is a likely option given a long enough period of time. But this would create
an equally problematic situation if combined with the creation of a canton running south from Salfit, through
Beit Rima to Beit ‘Ur, which would likewise control the ridges and impinge on Israel’s water monopoly.
                                                                                                           37
    By far the most aggressive and (in terms of water as well as territory) rewarding annexation for Israel would
    be via the Nili/Na’aleh settlements, which mark the eastern limit of the ‘high-yield’ pumping zone, are
    already equipped with a direct bypass link to Dolev, and lie on expansive reserves of seized ‘state land.’
    This would limit Ramallah’s potential control to a thin westward peninsula reaching Bil’in, block its
    northwestward connections entirely and yet would not entail absorbing large numbers of non-Jews.

    20 principal villages would be involved in such a realignment of cantons and blocs. Most would lose yet
    more land and be separated still further from one another and the socio-economic hubs of the OPT. Yet,
    only one need necessarily be annexed.

                                                            Annexation Prospects

          Village                Population 2002          Oslo-Period Status                 Potential Post – Talmon Annexation Status
Deir Ibzi’                              1,836                      Area B                              Linked to Ramallah
Al Janiya                               1,034                      Area B                    Either annexed or linked to Ramallah
‘Ein Qinya                               713                       Area C                              Linked to Ramallah
Ras Karkar                              1,677                      Area B                    Either annexed or linked to Ramallah
Al Mazra al Qibliya                     3,749                      Area B                              Linked to Ramallah
Deir Ammar                              1,969                      Area B                 Linked to the northern Ramallah/Salfit canton
Kobar                                   3,242                      Area B                              Linked to Ramallah
Beitilu                                 2,723                      Area B                 Linked to the northern Ramallah/Salfit canton
Jibiya                                   141                       Area B                              Linked to Ramallah
Deir Nidham                              803                       Area B                                   Annexed
An Nabi Saleh                            463                       Area B                 Linked to the northern Ramallah/Salfit canton
Umm Safa                                 637                       Area B                Either annexed or linked to northern canton
Beit ‘Ur at Tahta                       3,898                      Area B                              Linked to Ramallah
Saffa                                    981                       Area B                              Linked to Ramallah
Bil’in                                  1,551                      Area B                              Linked to Ramallah
Kafr Ni’ma                              3,421                      Area B                              Linked to Ramallah
Kharbatha Bani Harith                   2,567                      Area B                              Linked to Ramallah
Jammala                                 1,283                      Area B                 Linked to the northern Ramallah/Salfit canton
Deir Abu Mash’al                        3,039                      Area B                 Linked to the northern Ramallah/Salfit canton
‘Abud                                   2,171                      Area B                 Linked to the northern Ramallah/Salfit canton

    By annexing Ras Karkar and Al Janiya so as to broaden the corridor between the urban blocs in the west
    and the Talmon cluster, Israel would secure the entire area comfortably and control the only populated
    ridges between Nili and Talmon. However, without needing to impinge on the minimal areas surrounding
    the built-up centers of these villages (and currently Area B pockets), Israel could equally control a broad
    connecting corridor with ample space for expansion.

    Annexation of Deir Nidham is a foregone conclusion if the settlement of Neve Tzuf is to be retained and
    allowed to continue expanding, and is not caused by the corridor, while Umm Safa’s proximity to the
    settlement of Ateret and the road serving it makes it a conceivable annexation option.

    Even should all 4 villages be annexed along with their land, the total non-Jewish population amounts to a
    little over 4,000, while the Talmon settlers numbered 3,906 as of 2001, and the Nili/Na’aleh settlers add
                                                                                                               118
    871. For Israel, this is an acceptable ratio – the established threshold being Jewish : non-Jewish parity.
    Shifting the ratio to Israel’s greater advantage can easily be achieved through forgoing the Ateret
    settlement and the annexation of Umm Safa, as well as by allowing the built-up area of Al Janiya and Ras
    Karkar villages to join the Ramallah canton. Such a minimal extension would place 803 Palestinians and
    4,475 settlers in the annexation area. (See map)

    It should be noted that the area to the west – being the Camp David annexation bloc of Modi’in and Beit
                                                                                         119
    Arye – contains over 23,000 Palestinians and only 20,000 Jewish settlers at present.

    As no single Area A locality is involved in any such scenario, a unilateral Israeli action or one forced upon
    an enhumbled Palestinian representative can conceivably be presented as a ‘withdrawal’ from 19 (or 16)
    Palestinian villages, rather than an act of aggressive expansion. This prospect becomes increasingly likely
    as notions of ‘provisional,’ ‘conditional’ and ‘partial’ territorial arrangements gain credence.


    118
        The acceptable threshold can be reasonably gauged by the redrawing of the ‘Greater Jerusalem’ proposals in the 90s, which shifted from
    Rabin’s ‘Metropolitan Master Plan’ (1994) through Netanyahu’s ‘Umbrella Municipality Plan’ (1997) until Barak’s Camp David map (2000),
    roughly obeying the parity principle throughout.
    119
        PALDIS – LDC Database, 2001-2002 figures.
                                                                                                                                                 38
6: Conclusions

The fatal damage wrought upon Palestinian rights and aspirations by Israel’s national settlement program
is clear. The damage is both long-term and immediate and has recently been granted new levels of
pseudo-legitimacy from leading western states, some of which are engaged economically in its support
and/or politically in its justification. Nonetheless, it remains an entirely illegal program, through which Israel
has undermined the credibility of the international community just as it has annihilated Palestinian options.

Any diplomatic efforts to address the Palestine-Israel conflict must start by addressing the settlement
program or not start at all. Postponing the issue to a later date has never been a credible option and its
adoption by the ‘honest brokers’ of past agreements produced the current violence more than any other
factor.

Ideological, messianic settlement is not a marginal issue. Ideological settlement movements are today the
most potent and unstoppable force in Israeli right-wing politics and have held a monopoly on Israeli
settlement planning for over 25 years. The ideological messianic settlement movements founded and
populated the majority of the settlements making up the proposed annexation blocs proposed in the last
round of meaningful negotiations, including the largest site – Ma’ale Adumim. The same movements are
today operating with absolute impunity throughout the central West Bank, establishing new sites at a rate of
3 per month.

The absence of a political horizon and the unprecedented militarization of the settlement program over the
last 20 months, necessitates a new and realistic approach to the issue. Israel will not evacuate any
settlement in the foreseeable future – this is not a matter of terms of office, but rather many years. During
that period of time, the re-occupation of the OPT and the development of the settlement program under the
shifting guise of ‘security’ will redraw the parameters of Palestinian safety and movement radically.

Sites populated by 10 – 100 families in the OPT cannot be viewed in terms of housing units or
landholdings, but rather in terms of the degree of exclusion they enforce over the Palestinian population.
Ma’ale Adumim was squatted by 7 Gush Emunim radicals in a single caravan in 1974. Today it controls the
entire central West Bank, including Jerusalem, Ramallah and Bethlehem, and is populated by 25,000
settlers representing a broad mixture of Israeli political society.

In a matter of weeks, the third consecutive olive harvest will commence in much of the OPT under settler
and military threat. This time, the areas of exclusion will be further expanded and the compound effects of
land loss, economic decline and fear will force the Palestinians to yield yet more land to the settlement
program.

Israel has never evacuated an established OPT settlement. Every Israeli Knesset since 1967 has added
new sites to the program. Neither has any Israeli government offered alternatives to those few ‘unwilling’
settlers willing to leave for Israel proper. There is clearly no reason to believe that the necessarily
monumental revolution in Israeli political strategy is imminent.

Fund raising, recruitment and promotion for ideological settlement occurs in an organized and transparent
way throughout the western world, where the relevant youth movements, educational programs and
religious bodies enjoy the beneficial ‘non-profit’ status currently denied Palestinian medical and educational
organizations with political or ideological currents.

A settlement freeze, an international condemnation of settlement activity or another committee of ‘inquiry’
into the ‘causes of violence’ is almost certainly the most the Palestinians can expect from the various
‘honest brokers’ and yet is devoid of meaning. The issue should rightly be raised in its real sense – as a
wartime crime and as an affront to the conventions and treaties designed to enforce international norms of
behavior. Failure to continually raise it as such is tantamount to complicity and has already stripped the
relevant third parties of any legitimacy they may once have had.




                                                                                                               39
The Palestinian Land Development Information System of the Palestinian Land Defense General Committee
calls upon members of the international diplomatic community to recall that the collapse of past negotiations
was in great measure the fruit of Israeli settlement policy and to recognize the limited abilities of the
Palestinian people to withstand the accelerated and militarily implemented policies of ethnic exclusion and
enclosure.
We ask you to take a strong, committed stance against them, acknowledging their nature as war crimes
under international law and as carrying the proven potential for causing yet more long-term regional
suffering, violence and instability.




                                 Further Information: Contact – Issa Samandar:
                                            Cellular 0522 – 463 686
                                             Email: paldis@p-ol.com




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