Israel’s aggression against the besieged Gaza Strip continues, but the Tel Aviv government has approved the establishment of 13 settlements, an agricultural town and two cities in the Negev Desert, and approved the establishment of a town around the Gaza Strip, with At the same time, the Israeli Ministry of Finance continues to allocate budgets to settlements and construction in the West Bank.
At a time when the various departments of the occupation government seemed to be completely paralyzed by the high cost of the invasion, the exceptions were its Ministry of Finance, Planning and Construction Commission, and Planning Commission under the Ministry of Interior, which quickly approved projects to expand settlements in the Negev projects that come at the expense of Palestinian existence.
On the initiative of Israeli Environmental Protection Minister Edith Silman, the Planning and Building Committee approved the establishment of a town called “Hanun” in the Gaza Strip containing 500 housing units. The minister claimed that the project was part of the repair work in the settlements, which were damaged in the attacks launched by Hamas (Palestinian Islamic resistance movement) in October this year.
In the Negev region, the Planning and Construction Committee approved the construction of 13 new settlements and two cities in Beersheba, which will be established here for the first time for Orthodox Jews with the support of the so-called “Israel Lands Authority” The construction of a city called “Kashif” will be fully financed and invested by construction and real estate companies, which will receive land from the occupying government.
The Settlement Council called for approval of the establishment of settlement outposts and the expansion of settlement projects in the occupied West Bank and linking it to the Gaza Strip by strengthening settlements and the Jewish presence in the Negev.
In addition, some right-wing leaders have also called for the occupation of some areas of Gaza and the return of settlers to the Gush Katif settlement community – which contains 21 settlements before Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005. It is home to nearly 9,000 settlers.
Despite the high cost of the invasion of Gaza, which reached a level of nearly $9 billion in the fifth week of the war, the occupation authorities still introduced such settlement-enhancing measures, causing the cumulative deficit in its overall budget to rise to approximately $6 billion. It is reported that the War Council (War Cabinet), which currently governs the Israeli government, has recommended against redirecting the budget allocated to the government under the coalition agreement towards war objectives.
Despite such suggestions, Israeli Finance Minister Smotrich approved the allocation of nearly $180 million to the office of Minister of National Missions and Settlement Affairs Orit Stork to strengthen settlement projects in the West Bank, in addition Nearly $77 million has also been allocated to strengthen religious education in Orthodox Judaism.
Smotrich has issued instructions to allocate nearly $13 million from the budget of the occupying force’s Civil Administration to expand cellular communications networks and support widespread communications coverage in settlements in the West Bank. He attributed the decision to the fact that settlers’ lives were at risk in the absence of cellular coverage in these areas.
In an assessment of the situation titled “In the absence of a strategy for the next day of the war, there are efforts to return to Gush Katif,” journalist Shalom Yerushami noted that the settlement committee and the settler leadership are trying to Seeking help from West Bank settlers to expand settlement projects around the Gaza Strip and seeking to capture parts of Gaza, as well as the return of Gush Katif settlement communities.
In this assessment of the situation published on an Israeli website, Yerushalmi noted that 18 years after Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan was implemented, the settlers are exploiting the war in Gaza to return to Gush Katif, while This is also in line with the Netanyahu government’s decision to cancel disengagement in the northern West Bank and return to four settlements that were evacuated in 2005.
The journalist explained that without any post-war strategic plan, from the perspective of the settlement movement, the destruction caused by the war just prepared the land for the return of settlers to Gush Katif. preparations and in line with the project to expand settlements in the Negev Desert.
battle for survival
On the other hand, Juma Zabarka, Chairman of the Supreme Steering Committee of Negev Arabs, recalled the harassment and persecution of Palestinians in the Negev over land and housing in the context of the Gaza War. He also pointed out that Israel A battle for survival is being waged against them.
Regarding plans to uproot and displace Bedouins in the Negev, Zabarka said, “The Israeli establishment has exploited the current war to advance its deportation plans and has approved the establishment of two Jewish cities and 13 settlements on a land belonging to 37 Palestinian towns have been stripped of their identity and the 120,000 people who live here are locked in a fight for survival.”
Zabarka pointed out in an interview with Al Jazeera that the approval of the settlement plan may put the residents of these villages at risk of having their nearly 800,000 dunams of property confiscated, and these villages that have been deprived of their identity have long been established in Israel. It existed before.
Zabarka explained that the plan to expand the settlement project mainly targets the “fenced” area – where the occupation authorities gathered the remaining nearly 11,000 Palestinian Bedouins in the Negev after the “catastrophe”. Nearly 100,000 other Palestinians were forcibly deported to the Gaza Strip, Jordan or the wilderness of Jerusalem.
Zabarka said he fears Israel will use the ongoing war to forcibly evict residents of towns that have been stripped of their status and herd them into existing Palestinian towns.
He attributed these concerns to the support Israel received from the United States and the West in the Gaza war, and he did not rule out the possibility that Israel would use this support to implement a fait accompli policy of expanding settlement projects in the Negev to prevent being The besieged Gaza Strip has no geographical connection with the occupied southern West Bank.