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!
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • 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.