• Tue. Oct 4th, 2022
EU-overtagelse-Area-C

  • The goal of the Palestinian Authority is apparently to annex these areas and bring them under the control of the Autonomy as part of its larger plan for the unilateral formation of a Palestinian state. This plan was published in 2009 in an official document of the Self-Government, written by then-Prime Minister Salam Fayyad; since its publication, it has been carried out virtually unhindered with the help of massive, European, financial support, in a breach of the Oslo Accords and a breach of international law. It should be added that this type of activity is easier to present to the international media channels and foreign benefactors as “humanitarian aid.”
  • The key player in these land robbery projects is the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) . The UAWC maintains close organizational and operational ties with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a terrorist organization that has carried out many deadly attacks on Israeli citizens – including several suicide bombings in the first decade of this millennium. The UAWC is mainly funded by European governments and relief organizations as well as by the European Union (EU).
  • In recent years, and especially since 2013, the Palestinians have intensified their agricultural activity as a means of quickly and effectively plundering large tracts of land, under the guise of humanitarian aid to farmers. This activity is illegal and violates the international agreements signed by the Palestinian Authority. But this has not bothered the foreign governments and organizations, including the EU, which continue to fund this illegal activity – while loudly criticizing the state of Israel.

Under the guise of “agricultural aid”, the Palestinian Authority is taking over Area C (the area which, according to the Oslo Accords, is under full Israeli jurisdiction, while awaiting a full peace agreement to establish final sovereignty over the territory of one or the other party), aided by massive European financial support – in a breach of the law and of the international agreements signed by the EU.

Over the past ten years, the Palestinian Authority has launched a long-term program to gain control of strategic areas in Area C in the disputed areas of Judea and Samaria. The goal of the self-government is apparently to annex these areas and bring them under the control of the self-government as part of its larger plan for the unilateral formation of a Palestinian state. This plan was published in 2009 in an unofficial document from the Self-Government, written by then-Prime Minister Salam Fayyad; since its publication, it has been carried out virtually unhindered and with the help of massive European financial support.

Since 2013, it has been possible to see a noticeable acceleration in the execution of the plan, mainly through intensive agricultural activity on a large scale, based on an understanding that this tactic, in contrast to illegal construction, enables the Self-Government to take control of large areas of land relatively quickly. This activity is carried out under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority “Roots Project” ( جذور or Juthoor; Project Roots ) , which makes it easier to present the massive land grabs for international media channels and foreign benefactors as “humanitarian aid.”

The key player in these land plunder projects is the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC). With its branch offices spread throughout Judea and Samaria, the UAWC maintains close organizational and operational ties with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a terrorist organization that has carried out numerous deadly attacks on Israeli citizens, including several The UAWC is mainly funded by European governments and relief organizations, as well as by the European Union.

Most of UAWC’s activities take place in Area C.. Among the more central projects are: illegal robbery of thousands of dunam [Ottoman land area, equivalent to between 900 and 1000 square meters, overs .] Land through agriculture, illegal acquisition of water sources and construction of new roads, allegedly to facilitate the access of Palestinian farmers to agricultural land. These activities are concentrated in areas of strategic importance, in particular areas adjacent to Jewish settlements and the security barrier, as well as areas in Area C that serve as buffer zones between Areas A and B (which are under the full and partial jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, respectively). .

All this activity is, of course, unilateral, without permission from or coordinated with the State of Israel – in a violation of the law applicable in these areas, in a violation of the Oslo Accords and in a violation of international law.

The non-governmental organization Regavim, which fights for the conservation of Israel’s land resources and works for a forward-looking agricultural policy, has provided accurate documentation and mapping of the Autonomous Community’s activities in the field and gathered information on EU funding of UAWC activities by monitoring Palestinian and EU -published publications, media reports and by internet coverage (such as this recent video boasting extensive, illegal activity). The results of this study, which have been presented in a comprehensive report to the Knesset Subcommittee on Foreign Affairs and the Defense Committee on Judea and Samaria, are summarized in “The Roots of Evil”.

The political context – the battle for control of Judea and Samaria

In the “Interim Agreement between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority” concluded in Oslo in 1993 (the “Oslo Agreement”) between Israel and the leaders of the PLO, the State of Israel officially recognized an organization that had openly acted as a terrorist organization and the law to form a Palestinian Authority for autonomous Arab rule in parts of Judea and Samaria.

Under this agreement, Judea and Samaria were divided into three regions: Area A was under full Palestinian civilian and security jurisdiction; Area B was under Palestinian civilian control while Israel retained responsibility for security; and Area C was under full Israeli civilian and security jurisdiction. Despite the fact that many of the clauses of the Oslo Accords have never actually been activated and other elements are no longer relevant, the division of the judicial authority is still in force.

Nearly ten years ago, the then Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Salam Fayyad, began working for a unilateral program to form “an independent, fully autonomous Arab state throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip, according to the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital. ” A key element in Fayyad’s plans is to try to expand the Self – Government’s official, administrative presence, especially in Area C, and create a de facto annexation of the territory based on the underlying assumption that Area A and Area B were already “done” with the Oslo Accords.

The implementation of this “sneak annexation” program runs on two parallel tracks. One includes cooperation with Israel: the Self-Government submits its applications for approval of construction projects of a “special priority” to the relevant Israeli authorities; In general, international financial support for these projects depends on an “approval stamp” from Israel. The second track, which is far more widespread, is the creation of “facts on the ground”, facts on the ground, through extensive illegal construction and development work, apparently without coordination with or permission from the Israeli authorities. The projects within this illegal track are planned and carried out in accordance with a clear, systematic roadmap that seeks to create territorial cohesion for a future Palestinian state while disrupting the growth and cohesion of Israeli communities.

Through theIn recent years, the illegal trail has not only become more prevalent, but also more “creative,” using agricultural work to create these “facts on the ground” – in a violation of the law in force in the region, in a violation of Oslo- agreements, which designate the State of Israel as the sole sovereign authority over this territory, and in violation of international law.

The Palestinian Authority has enjoyed the diplomatic support of European countries for decades. However, despite the fact that the European Union took an active part in the formulation of the Oslo Accords and its representatives participated in the signing ceremony, the EU has in recent years actively funded many of the Self-Government’s illegal activities in Area C and thus contributed to projects that undermine the same agreements. by taking unilateral steps to form a Palestinian state-wide all of Judea and Samaria.

Palestinian “civil society organizations” and the Self-Government itself have received massive practical and financial support from European governments and organizations. European funding, as well as diplomatic support and other forms of active participation, have been channeled directly into the projects of the Fayyad Plan.

One of the methods used by the European Union to create a de facto Palestinian state is to block the development of infrastructure and the expansion of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria through Palestinian construction and agriculture. For several years, the EU has built more than 2,000 buildings in Area C for the Palestinian people, thus creating or supporting dozens of illegal settlement clusters, without applying for or having received building permits or coordinating these projects with the relevant Israeli authorities. When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu protested against the EU’s shameless violation of the law, the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, officially promised to refrain from further illegal construction in the E1 area – but not in the rest of Area C. All EU – funded construction, agriculture and infrastructure projects in Area C is clearly aimed at establishing territorial coherence for the presence of the Palestinian Authority, in an attempt to prevent the possibility of a future Israeli annexation or development of these areas. It is being carried out illegally, in violation of Israeli jurisdiction over this territory, and under the guise of EU humanitarian aid from the EU Foreign Council to needy Palestinian communities in Judea and Samaria.

The legal context – Ottoman property law used as a tool for land expropriation

Current law in Area C of Judea and Samaria, which is under full Israeli jurisdiction, consists of many layers of legal systems, including Ottoman law, mandate laws, Jordanian laws, military rule, international law, as well as acts of law from the Israeli parliament, the Knesset. But the most important pillars of the Property C law in Area C are based on Ottoman law.

According to Ottoman law and rulings of the Israeli Supreme Court, which still upholds it, uncultivated land belongs to the ruling power – in this case the state of Israel. Some land areas in Area C are further classified as “survey areas” – ie. Land lines that are not registered as privately owned and that the government (the Israeli government) is in the process of regulating and registering as state land.

A private individual can be granted ownership of agricultural land (according to section 78 of the Ottoman law text), provided he has managed and cultivated the land in question for a longer, continuous number of years (the exact number of years required depends on the nature of the plot). .

A person who plunders land and uses it for agricultural purposes can thus claim ownership or other right to the land in question, simply by claiming to have cultivated the land for a certain period of time. Palestinian agricultural projects are exploiting this “loophole” in Ottoman law with great success.

Activities that udfunder Roots Project, the program for the systematic acquisition of land in Area C, are presented as agricultural projects; nevertheless, many of these types of work – erection of fences and construction of walls, excavation work with heavy machinery, construction of roads and other – require building permits, which they clearly do not have. On the other hand, the law is enforced with meticulous care against Jewish construction, resulting in what can best be described as “reverse apartheid”: A number of draconian rules are applied exclusively to Jewish residents in Area C, such as “delimiting orders”. delimitation] and “obstructive use orders”, which give the authorities the power to remove structures a lot and, without legal action, to exclude residents from disputed areas.

Union of Agricultural Work Committees – Operational Branch of the Land Robbing Company

The Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) is the main operational branch of the Palestinian Authority’s plan to take control of Area C and create a de facto Palestinian state in this territory.

The association, which is headquartered in Ramallah, consists of more than 65 branches with agricultural local councils throughout Judea, Samaria and Gaza. It has more than 100 employees and an annual budget of over 5 million euros (almost $ 6 million). The budget is mainly based on direct and indirect donations from foreign sources, including the EU and the UN, as well as the governments of France, Norway and the Netherlands.

The UAWC has both undisguised and hidden ties to the terrorist organization Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and its activities are carried out in coordination with the Palestinian security apparatus and various Palestinian courts.

Both the PFLP and the UAWC have sought to conceal their close connection in order to portray the civilian organization as an independent, non-profit organization. Despite these efforts, however, there is clear evidence of their ideological and economic interdependence: an internal document prepared for the US humanitarian organization USAID in 1993 stated that the UAWC is the “PFLP’s agricultural organization” and “the PFLP’s agricultural expansion services are provided by the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC). ” In fact, the PLO’s dominant Fatah faction has described the UAWC as an “affiliated member” of the PFLP.

The UAWC’s affiliation with the PFLP takes place despite the classification of the PFLP as a terrorist organization by both the United States and the European Union. Leading figures in the PFLP’s hierarchy have held senior positions within the UAWC, including Jamil Muhamad Ismail Al Majdalawi, former vice president of the UAWC in Gaza and a well-known, senior officer in the PFLP. He has served as the head of the political department of the PFLP in Gaza and in 2013 as the PFLP’s representative to Fatah agencies in the Palestinian Authority. Bashar Al Khiri served as head of the PFLP’s political department in the first years of this millennium. He was arrested and imprisoned by the State of Israel and served after his release as President of the UAWC Advisory Board from 2005-2010.

One of the European organizations that provides financial support for UAWC’s activities is Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), a Norwegian organization that describes itself as “committed to building democratic societies and strengthening people’s ability to take control of their own lives. . ” The NPA describes itself as apolitical, although its views are not neutral. It “thus [supports] organizations that represent weak or vulnerable populations, especially if they oppose or are in conflict with those in power.” The NPA mentions the UAWC as one of its partner organizations in Palestine.

The NPA, which for many years was supported by the US Government’s humanitarian aid program USAID, was accused in 2017 of terrorist support by the US Department of Justice. During the trial, which ended in 2018, the NPA admitted to supporting Iran, Hamas and a number ofother terrorist organizations.

From 2016 to 2018, the NPA received 32,000,000 Norwegian kroner (3,320,000 euros – almost 4 million dollars) from the Norwegian government (out of a promise of a total of 50 million kroner) for joint UAWC-NPA projects.

In practice, the UAWC’s terrorist links have not intimidated the EU, earmarking € 3.6 million for the UAWC for its Roots Project in the Bethlehem area in 2014 and funding 90% of its total budget. Under the auspices of the Roots Project, a representative from the EU visited the area to report on the progress of the initiative and to provide an overview of UAWC’s activities.

In March 2015, the opening ceremony of the Roots Project was held in Bethlehem. EU Ambassador to the Palestinian Authority, John Gatt-Ruter, addressed the ceremony as a guest of honor:

“The projects that the European Union will implement for the people of Area C are crucial, especially in the agricultural sector, which is an important part of the economy. help support Palestinian farmers … and create Palestinian facts on the ground … The Union of Agricultural Work Committees has demonstrated its ability to carry out agricultural projects in many Palestinian territories, and the connection to the The European Union is the result of the success of the UAWC. ” [ Text highlight added .]

Conclusions and recommendations

Over the past ten years, the Palestinian Authority has made a concerted effort to gain control of as much land as possible in Area C. In recent years, and especially since 2013, the Palestinians have intensified their agricultural activity as a means of rapid and effective to acquire large tracts of land under the guise of humanitarian aid for farmers. This activity is illegal and violates the international agreements signed by the Self-Government. But this has not bothered the foreign governments and organizations, including the European Union, which continue to fund this illegal activity – while at the same time loudly criticizing the state of Israel.

Due to the extensive strategic implications of the Palestinian land grabbing program, this issue cannot be resolved on a case-by-case basis as a local issue. The bigger picture must be taken into account, and the European Union must stop its unbridled interference in the internal affairs of the democratic state (Israel) and its manifold violations of international laws and agreements – activities that reinforce Palestinian irreconcilability, paralyze the prospect of a negotiated final agreement and endangers the security of Israelis in a very concrete and direct way.


Sources and notes

Naomi Linder Kahn is the Director of the International Division of Regavim.

Original Article: “The European Union: Nurturing Instability and Terrorism in the Middle East” 2019-04-24. Translated by Mette Thomsen, published 2019-05-11. Reprinted with permission from the Gatestone Institute.

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