Israel plans to expand one of its illegal West Bank settlements to triple its current size, a move which will absorb a nearby illegal outpost previously home to the Dawabsheh family’s killer.
Under the plans the Amichai settlement, located north of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, will incorporate the neighboring outpost of Adei Ad. Adei Ad was previously home to Amiram Ben-Uriel, the extremist Israeli settler responsible for the arson attack against the Dawabsheh family in 2017. The attack killed three members of the family, including 18-month-old baby Ali, and left his brother Ahmed orphaned.
3 years ago, the Dawabsheh family were burnt alive at their home commited by an Israeli settler who got 6 month in prison. 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh was burned alive, and both his parents died from their injuries.
Ahmed Dawabsheh was the only one who survived the fire. pic.twitter.com/eowSkHEkzn
— Days of Palestine (@DaysofPalestine) August 6, 2018
The Dawabsheh’s home was situated in the village of Duma, some four kilometers from the Amichai settlement and overlooked by the Adei Ad outpost. Ben-Uriel is facing court proceedings after he was indicted for three counts of murder, but his 16-year-old settler accomplice was released to house arrest in July this year.
Israel is legitimizing the illegal settlement outpost of Adei Ad, built on Palestinian lands of the Turmusayya, Mughayyir, Jalud and Qaryut villages in the occupied West Bank. https://t.co/mfh1uQXIvE pic.twitter.com/qV5PSd5ZFr
— The IMEU (@theIMEU) August 8, 2018
According to Haaretz,
“Sources familiar with the details of the [expansion] plan conceded that at this point the goal of increasing the jurisdiction of Amichai is to legalize Adei Ad.”
The Israeli government argues that Adei Ad was “built on state land without legal permits”, though “the state never evacuated it and declared on a number of occasions that it intended to legalize it,” Haaretz reported.
The immediate purpose of the expansion is to turn the illegal outpost of Adei Ad into a kind of distant neighborhood in Amichai, an isolated settlementhttps://t.co/1hpe38O7iB
— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) August 8, 2018
Although Israel differentiates between settlements and outposts, which do not have official government recognition, both are deemed illegal under international law which prohibits the transferring of civilian populations into occupied territory.
The plans to incorporate Adei Ad into Amichai came to light during ongoing legal proceedings against the latter’s current boundaries. The case pitted the Israeli Civil Administration, the organization which administers “Area C” of the occupied West Bank, against Palestinians who argue any further expansion of the illegal settlement will deny them access to their farmland.
Whitewashing Under a Black Flag
In expanding the size of the outpost of Adei Ad, the government thinks it can sideline the High Court’s ruling and fulfill its undertaking to the U.S. administration not to build new settlements https://t.co/kRStDwJhS5
— Johann Spischak (@SDGMasterglass) August 8, 2018
The Palestinians involved in the case are being represented by NGO Yesh Din, whose attorney, Shlomi Zecharia, said:
“The inhabitants of the villages near the outpost have become hostages to the policy that abundantly rewards prizes and gifts to ideological criminals. Cutting off farmlands by means of a false [expansion of] jurisdiction is extreme, disproportionate and needless, and in fact is intended to perpetuate restrictions on and infringement of Palestinian property, this time under the official auspices of the government.”
Amichai is inhabited by 40 families who were evacuated from their previous settlement in Amona in February 2017 after the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that it was built on private Palestinian land. Clashes erupted between the settlers and Israeli forces, with 20 police officers injured and 13 arrested for “disturbances”. The families moved in to Amichai in March 2018, the first “new” settlement to be built in 25 years.
Even more: BB said "some 900 dunams of land near the settlement of Eli, incl outposts of Adei Ad+ Givat Haro’eh" were "declared state land"
— Marian Houk (@Marianhouk) March 31, 2017
Israeli settlers frequently commit crimes against Palestinians living nearby. Last week, illegal settlers punctured and vandalized ten Palestinian vehicles in the village of Ein Yabrud, east of Ramallah, spray painting racist slogans on them.
The settlers were escorted by Israeli occupation forces and appear not to have faced any repercussions for their actions. In July, a group of extremist settlers set fire to Palestinian property in the village of Jaloud, on the outskirts of Nablus in the north of the West Bank.
Last night, a Palestinian farmer from Turmus'ayya noticed a group of settlers breaking trees on plots of land belonging to residents of the village, near the outpost of Adei Ad. Police arrived 30 min later but the settlers had fled, leaving around 300 large trees broken. pic.twitter.com/zPOCHyzN71
— Sharona Weiss 💮 هيذر شارونا (@sharona_weiss) June 10, 2018
Witnesses said that the settlers set fire to Palestinian farmland, including at least 2.5 acres of wheat, as well as a house in the area. The settlers also cut down dozens of Palestinian-owned trees in the area.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)