Israel fails to act as Palestinians encroach on heartland

In Area C, which falls fully under Israeli control according to the Oslo Accords, the PA has been making inroads with virtually no interference from Israel. 

By David Isaac, World Israel News

The Israeli Civil Administration, which is in charge of policy in Judea and Samaria, is about to face the music. It has failed to stop years of Palestinian encroachment on Israeli-controlled territory in Area C, critics say.

Having been asked a year ago to present a plan to stop said encroachment, the Civil Administration will finally do so before the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Thursday.

Israel’s Security Cabinet heard the plan last week in a classifed meeting.

That presentation was prompted by an earlier meeting in the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee which gave low marks to the civil administration for failing to confront the PA takeover, Makor Rishon reports on Friday.

The PA has been making inroads in Area C with virtually no interference from Israel.

MK Zvi Hauser, chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said, “In order to prepare for stopping the Palestinian takeover of Area C, we need to find a systematic method that enables us to manage the area.”

Hauser said the problem isn’t that instructions aren’t given, but that they aren’t carried out, noting that a year has passed since the Security Cabinet ordered the mapping of all Arab illegal building in the area and a plan devised to stop it.

According to Makor Rishon, the Civil Administration will come in for heavy criticism, such as explaining why it immediately returned confiscated engineering equipment to the PA.

A State Comptroller’s report released on Monday exposed major weaknesses in the Civil Administration. Meir Deutsch, Director General of Regavim, said “Even a cursory read between the lines of the State Comptroller’s report on the Civil Administration leaves no room for argument: The Civil Administration must be shut down, and its professional staff reassigned to the relevant ministries of the Israeli government.”

At an earlier committee meeting, the nonprofit Regavim, which monitors land issues in Israel, revealed that the PA had built in illegal highway to connect two Arab villages. While the villages are in Area B, a considerable section of the highway goes through Area C.

“Regavim has been battling Civil Administration inaction for over a decade,” Naomi Kahn, director of Regavim’s international division, told World Israel News.

“The fundamental policy of this outmoded military apparatus continues to make life for Jews in Judea and Samaria a never-ending saga of bureaucratic purgatory and prejudicial law enforcement. At the same time, through a combination of inaction and ineptitude, the Civil Administration has actually enabled – even encouraged – the Palestinian Authority’s takeover of the heartland of Israel.”

If there were still those in Israel who weren’t aware of the lack of Israeli enforcement in Judea and Samaria, this weekend’s news of thousands of Palestinian Arabs simply walking through a tear in Israel’s security fence to head to the beaches in Tel Aviv, Jaffa, and Netanya may have served as a wake-up call.

Palestinian media covering the event pointed to an Israeli security outpost only a short distance away. The soldiers stationed there did nothing.