Palestinians Pressured To Leave 'Area C' of Occupied West Bank by Israel

Is 'Silent Transfer' a Prelude to Annexation of Arab Land?

Seething in Area C: Palestinians say they suffer pervasive discrimination and are being pressured to leave the so-called Area C
ben lynfield
Seething in Area C: Palestinians say they suffer pervasive discrimination and are being pressured to leave the so-called Area C

By Ben Lynfield

Published March 05, 2013, issue of March 08, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 5)

Those advocating this move notably include Israel’s minister of public diplomacy, Yuli Edelstein, who is a senior member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party, and his fellow party member Ze’ev Elkin, a top Likud Knesset member.

The head of Israel’s Jewish Home party, which will be the third largest in Israel’s recently elected parliament, is also urging that Israel take this step. Like many others, Naftali Bennett, the party chief, is attracted by the prospect of absorbing the lion’s share of the West Bank’s land and a minimum number of its Palestinian residents.

“There are 350,000 Israelis living in Area C and only 50,000 Arabs,” he told Israel’s Ynet news website in February 2012. “They will become full-fledged Israeli citizens and according to this plan no one — neither a Jew nor an Arab — would be driven out of his home.”

But right now, charge critics, Palestinians are, indeed, being driven out of their homes in Area C as the possibility of Israeli annexation emerges.

A 2011 research report conducted by the European Union noted that in 1967 between 200,000 and 320,000 Palestinians lived in the Jordan Valley, most of which is in Area C. But demolition of Palestinian homes and prevention of new buildings has seen the number drop to 56,000, the report said. In a similar period, it added, the Jewish population in Area C has grown from 1,200 to 310,000.

In many ways, the challenges confronting the residents of this tiny village exemplify the issues at stake.

The IDF order to demolish the Nabi Samwil school’s toilet is part of a broader building ban it is enforcing, based on a 1997 designation of the area in which the village sits as a national park. Israel views all of the sites in which Nabi Samwil’s Palestinians live as illegal structures.

That designation contrasts with the situation just across the road in the Har Shmuel Jewish settlement, where many new villas are under construction as part of the “natural growth” of the community. In Nabi Samwil, as elsewhere in Palestinian villages of Area C, not only is natural growth not allowed, it is actively stymied, according to international and Israeli critics.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Ari Folman's new movie 'The Congress' is a brilliant spectacle, an exhilarating visual extravaganza and a slapdash thought experiment. It's also unlike anything Forward critic Ezra Glinter has ever seen. http://jd.fo/d4unE
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.