Youth in Judea and Samaria opposed to the Trump peace plan, which provides for a Palestinian state, pledge to stop annexation from moving forward.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
Hundreds of Judea and Samaria youth, including yeshiva students, have pledged to stop the Trump peace plan from moving forward. Though they favor annexation, they say there are more dangers to the plan than benefits.
Organizing under the name Kula Shelanu (“It’s all ours”), the group has recruited activists, written informational pamphlets explaining their position, held conferences, and organized a tour through areas that would potentially be affected by the Trump plan.
“We already have hundreds of young men and women who are ready to join the fight,” Elisha Yared, who lives in an outpost on a hill in Binyamin, told Yediot Ahronot.
“We’ve divided them into groups by area and they’re ready for the day we give the order. We understand that there’s an event which needs to be stopped. Not through talks and not through the Knesset or the government, but through us planting our feet in the ground, alongside wide public support.”
The youth, like many settlement leaders, are opposed to the Trump plan for several reasons.
While Trump’s plan provides for Israel to annex lands in the Jordan Valley and Judea and Samaria, it also grants land concessions for a Palestinian state, which would exist alongside Israeli-annexed areas. It leaves some 19 isolated Jewish settlements as enclaves surrounded by Palestinian territory.
Reports say that it imposes a four-year freeze on expansion within those enclaves. However, the plan itself does not mention a freeze and says that the enclaves will be part of Israel and no settlements will be uprooted. It does call for a freeze on Israeli building in areas designated as Palestinian territory under the plan.
Kula Shelanu has developed a three-step action plan for stopping annexation. First, the group plans on educating the public about the drawbacks of the Trump plan, via informational pamphlets and billboards throughout Judea and Samaria.
“Once the public hears and understands the meaning of the plan, they will undoubtedly be with us,” Jonathan Levy, a Kula Shelanu activist, said to Yediot Ahronot. “The broader public support we get, the more we can increase activity.”
Kula Shelanu’s second phase involves mass public demonstrations. “We want to bring out thousands of Judea and Samaria residents to protests, where we will express our opposition to giving up any part of the land of Israel,” said Yared.
The final stage in the Kula Shelanu plan is to set up outposts at strategic sites affected by the plan, in order to make territorial continuity of a future Palestinian state impossible.
“We’ll stop the plan with our feet in the ground, so we need to be deep in the field,” said Yared.
“We sat down with people familiar with the territory and divided the Trump map into three parts. In each of the regions, we selected landmarks where we’ll set up outposts, some of which are in Palestinian Authority areas.
“Hilltop youth will erect buildings at each landmark, creating outposts, and two to five families will live there and hold on to the territory.”
Levy understands that the Israeli authorities will likely try to clear the outposts as quickly as possible. “We know that they will be evacuated,” said Levy, “but we will return again and again. We also know that as we have broader public support, the government will have a harder time clearing us from our outposts.”
Kula Shelanu activists emphasized to Yediot Ahronot that no phase of their plan involves violence.
“This is non-violent, and our resistance is ideological,” said Yedidia Shapira of Beit El. “The young people have a great desire to oppose the plan, and we intend to fulfill that desire. Our goal is that many more hundreds of students will attend rallies and demonstrations, and most importantly, the new settlement points we will gain.”
Kula Shelanu’s plan comes on the heels of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Tuesday meeting with settlement leaders, which reportedly ended in shouting matches and accusations of “ingratitude.”