Just outside of Jerusalem, in Gush Etzion, the Palestinian Authority, with funds from the European Union, constructed an “ancient Palestinian village.”
By United With Israel Staff
In one of its latest ploys, the Palestinian Authority (PA), with support from the European Union (EU), took control of a strategic area in the heart of the Etzion Bloc, between the Jerusalem-Hebron highway and the Jewish village of Neve Daniel.
Named “Shoshkhalah,” this brand new “village” was created over the past two years by Palestinians attempting to create “historic” facts-on-the-ground where none previously existed.
Yishai Hemo, Field Coordinator for Regavim, an organization that advocates legal accountability for national land use and the return of the rule of law, explained in a video the process for the creation of Shoshkhalah:
“Over the course of the last two years, activists from the Arab town Al Khader, backed by Palestinian Authority and European Union funding, occupied the ruins of two ancient ‘shomerot’ (watchman’s huts) – primitive stone structures used by passing shepherds or farmers as shelter from the elements during the changing seasons that dot the landscape in the Jerusalem and Sataf areas. They renovated these abandoned structures and turned them into homes – and from that point, in very short order, totally new structures have been added in the surrounding area.”
In an act of defiance, the refurbished buildings display the European Union’s emblem. There are sign posts describing the site as an ancient village.
Aerial photos prove, however, that more than 15 homes have been built in this area in the past two years. Aerial photos taken in 1967, as well as maps dating back to 1880, confirm that there was never a settlement in this area.
“This is another phase in the Palestinian Authority-European Union program to seize control over strategic areas,” continued Hemo. “We are all too familiar with the program – from illegal construction in the Adumim Region, from land-grabs and highly-developed construction projects on IDF training grounds in the Hevron Hills and Gush Etzion, and from the extensive agricultural work that the PA is carrying out as a means of securing ownership rights to tens of thousands of dunams that have been illegally seized for Roots Project activity.”
Hemo continued, “When the State of Israel fails to regulate and register land in Judea and Samaria, the Palestinian Authority takes advantage of the opportunity to seize this land and annex it, de facto, to its jurisdiction.”
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Source: United with Israel