Squatters’ Highway: How the PA connects illegal encampments

“The Palestinian Authority continues to carry out its masterplan for territorial contiguity in the Jordan Valley.”

By World Israel News Staff

The Palestinian Authority has blazed a new illegal trail through the Jordan Valley from towns in Area B to its network of illegal outposts in Area C.

Regavim, an NGO that deals with land issues, said, “The Palestinian Authority continues to carry out its masterplan for territorial contiguity in the Jordan Valley, and the State of Israel continues to allow it.”

In recent months, the PA has invested massive human and financial resources to create a new illegal road connecting the large Arab villages of Taysir and Tubas in eastern Samaria with the network of illegal outposts near the Jewish communities of Ro’i and Beqaot and the IDF bases of the Jordan Valley.

Regavim says it has been tracking, documenting and warning the authorities about the project for many months, noting the PA began work on the illegal “squatters’ highway” in Area C as early as November last year.

Initially, paving materials were deposited in neat piles all along the route; a few months later, they have been steamrolled into a solid and smooth surface to accommodate vehicular traffic.

Regavim alerted the Civil Administration and other relevant authorities in the early stages of the project, demanding decisive enforcement action against the illegal activity and those responsible for it.

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Nonetheless, the PA has managed to steamroll and surface the entire roadway without interference, and if the current pace of “law enforcement” continues, there is every reason to believe that the road will soon be fully paved with asphalt.

“We warned the Civil Administration and the authorities, and appealed to them to take swift, active steps to prevent further progress of the work on the road, designed to support the illegal structures already on the ground and to link the scattered outposts into a network and connect them to the central villages of Area B, but they did nothing,” said Eitan Melt, Regavim’s Field Coordinator for Judea and Samaria.

“The Palestinian Authority is constantly working to create contiguity of Palestinian settlement; they aren’t standing around waiting for a Civil Administration inspector to show up and stop them. Either knowingly or unwittingly, the inaction of the enforcement authorities and the State of Israel is enabling the Palestinian Authority to achieve its vision of territorial contiguity and control in the Jordan Valley,” he said.