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 3 of 5)

“There is a definite preference for allocating land to settlements while embittering Palestinian lives to the point where they will leave,” said Alon Cohen-Lifshitz, who scrutinizes Israeli land and housing plans for Area C for Bimkom, an Israeli non-governmental organization that promotes progressive planning policies. Cohen-Lifshitz terms this a “silent transfer” of Palestinians from Area C.

Israel denies any such intent, and neither Israeli authorities, nor the United Nations nor Bimkom could furnish data on Area C population trends of recent years. But Israeli measures appear to be intensifying of late that have the effect of restricting the growth of Area C’s Palestinian population. In addition to implementing orders designating sections of Area C as national parks, those measures include treating certain other areas as nature reserves, archaeological sites and army firing zones — all of which render structures built by Palestinians in these areas illegal.

Under the Oslo Accords, the open spaces of Area C were actually slated to be handed over to the P.A. But this commitment, like many others made by each side, went unmet amid the breakdown of the accords, for which each side blames the other.

In January, there was a spike in Israeli Area C demolitions, with 139 structures, 59 of them homes, destroyed in 20 separate incidents, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. That marked the highest number of demolitions in a single month in more than two years, according to OCHA.

Guy Inbar, a spokesman for Israeli military administrators, stressed that demolitions in Area C are carried out against illegal structures — not as a means of pressuring Palestinians to leave. He said that military authorities last year gained approval for some master plans in Area C and are working on others.

“Planning is done to make order in Area C, and soon we will see more and more plans that enable them to live legally with connection to water and electricity, and not in a pirate fashion as is the case today,” Inbar said.

But in Nabi Samwil, the army has rebuffed requests to expand the school beyond the 20-square-meter room where 12 pupils from grades one to four are crowded together to study. Even a request to bring in a prefabricated trailer for more space has been denied, according to Abu Arqoub.


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!
  • Can you relate?
  • 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.
  • 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.