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Israelis begin construction on new settlement in central Hebron
Published Sunday 05/01/2014 (updated) 07/01/2014 11:05
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HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers began leveling a large tract of land in central Hebron in preparation for the construction of a new Jewish settlement outpost in the beleaguered southern West Bank city on Sunday.

Israeli settlers escorted a bulldozer which uprooted fifty-year-old trees in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood near the city center, near an existing extremist right wing Israeli settlement.

A Palestinian source told Ma'an that the Israeli liaison department notified the Palestinian side that Israeli authorities would do earthwork in the area for two months.

This notification, added the source, suggests that Israelis plan to establish a new settlement outpost near the old one known as "Ramat Yashi."

Spokesman for the Hebron activist group Youth Against Settlements Issa Amr highlighted that a mobile home was placed in the area after it was leveled by bulldozers.

This means a new outpost is being built, he added.

The land which was leveled was leased by the Abu Heikal family in 1949 from the Jordanian government's Custodian of Enemy Property, Abu Heikal told Ma'an in a phone call.

A new lease was signed after Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967, with the Israeli government's Custodian of Absentee Property, added Abu Heikal. In 1981, the Custodian of Absentee Property refused to take the rent fees, but in 2000 the family reached an agreement with the Israelis and paid for the years 1981-2000.

In 2001 and 2002, he added, the Israelis continued to take rent fees and after that they refused them again and announced the land a closed military zone denying the Palestinians access to it, despite his long-standing lease over the area. A fence was also built around the land.

Issa Amr said that the Israeli Civil Administration had rented the plot of land to Israeli settlers in a lease which came into effect on Jan. 1, 2014.

500 Israeli settlers live in the Old City of Hebron, many of whom have illegally occupied Palestinian houses and forcibly removed the original inhabitants. They are protected by thousands of Israeli forces.

Settlers and Israeli forces regularly target locals in the overwhelmingly Palestinian city for harassment, and many have been forced from their homes as a result.

A 1997 agreement split Hebron into areas of Palestinian and Israeli control.

The Israeli military-controlled H2 zone includes the ancient Old City, home of the revered Ibrahimi Mosque -- also split into a synagogue referred to as the Tomb of the Patriarchs -- and the once thriving Shuhada street, now just shuttered shops fronts and closed homes.

More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.

The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.
1 ) Gobbi / UK
05/01/2014 15:09
This is excellent news, hopefully kindergartens, schools, libraries, parks, sports facilities, hi-tech industrial parks, and advanced transport infrastructures will be included in the "Ramat Yashi" development. The Jordanians had these same barren hillsides and did nothing with them. The Jewish people on the other hand develop, build and progress.

2 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
05/01/2014 15:35
The hysterical anti-Israel haters are always screaming "ethnic cleansing", but the facts stand for themselves. There are 1.6 million Arabs in Israel with the vote, but Palestinian leaders say again and again they will not allow a single Jew in Palestine. For thousands of years Jews lived in Hebron, until the idea of "Palestine"came along. The Palestinians want racial purity in Palestine. They have racist laws (death penalty to sell a house to a Jew). Palestine is the real apartheid.

3 ) Nola Jaffe / usa
05/01/2014 15:43
The Israelis say that there have been activities against settlements? No wonder! For settlements they can kill... destroy... invade... take over homes & lands as long as it is Palestinians... And Israeli liaison department has the nerve to notify the Palestinian side that Israeli authorities would do earthwork in the area for two months??? In the meantime what happens to Palestinians that live in or near that area?

4 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
05/01/2014 16:52
Nola - why do you support ethnic cleansing of Jews in the west bank. Is it because you have already ethnically cleansed the native Americans from the settlement you live in? And in America of course people live beside construction sites...homes, shopping centers or highways. Where do you live, beside an Indian reservation where there is no development because your government chokes the natives and keeps them in their bantustans?

5 ) Uzi / USA
05/01/2014 16:54
Mazal Tov! About time to start Jewish housing!

6 ) Uri Karzen / Israel
05/01/2014 17:08
Relax issa.. They are doing an archeological dig.

7 ) deb / uk
05/01/2014 18:28
So Israel steals and occupies land then rents it back to Palestinians now that's what I call chutzpah!

8 ) jenya / usa
05/01/2014 18:47
Build build build this is jewish land. dont give palestinians an inch of it

9 ) Ramon / usa
05/01/2014 19:03
It would be nice if the settlement were built for the benefit of both peoples living in Hebron. Instead, it will benefit only Jews who will live under the protection of the occupation army. Where there are Jewish settlers, there is land theft, persecution of the locals, denial of human rights and the support of terror by the settler thugs. And in the meantime, the apartheid system becomes more entrenched.

10 ) Peter / Canada
05/01/2014 19:06
Ongoing apartheid. The "Two State Solution" disappears into history with ongoing ethnic cleansing. All that's left now is a simple end to apartheid, the right of return for the ethnically cleansed Palestinians, and an end to any and all "Judaization" (Israeli term for ethnic cleansing) and to have a good laugh at the futile lies ... and very revealing, racist comments by Uzi and Brian.

11 ) Gabriel / UK
05/01/2014 19:24
Wow, there are a lot of extremists here! I'll be interested if any of you can justify a military power taking land away from people, creating ethnic apartheid enclaves, shutting down shops and ruining people's livlihoods, without sounding like real fascists. There is nothing productive about the settlements, they monopolise land and resources and many times settlers have killed Palestinians and destroyed their property.

12 ) Mel / USA
05/01/2014 20:02
Deja Vu the racist,bigotted C18th,tax-raising French elites who pushed the 'dangerous','evil','money-lending' Jews into ghettoes,walled in slums,just because they wouldn't 'asssimilate' or 'convert' to Christianity! Take any previous racist,bigotted genocidal,extermination of oppressed natives or 'other' peoples viewed as 'lesser'mortals or 'disposable cheap labor' & there you have ZIONIST Israel,since WW2,in Palestine.How do other nations JUSTIFY that repetition of crimes,w/out being COLLUSIVE?

13 ) Colin Wright / USA
05/01/2014 20:46
Re No. 1,2, 4, 5: The usual nauseating Zionists celebrate yet another example of shameless expropriation and theft in open violation of international law, Israel's own commitments, etc. The irony, of course, is that they are digging their own grave. The more they incorporate the Palestinian population into 'Greater Israel,' the harder they will find it to continue the Zionist project when they are finally forced to become a democracy.

14 ) Colin Wright / USA
05/01/2014 20:48
TGo Brain Cohen #4: 'Where do you live, beside an Indian reservation where there is no development because your government chokes the natives and keeps them in their bantustans?' You are, of course, aware that American Indians are citizens and free to leave the reservation and live anywhere in America they choose? We're not like Israel.

15 ) Carole / Australia
05/01/2014 22:38
This is dreadful news. The Palestinian families and the Abu Heikel family in particular suffer terribly from settler violence. Israel continues to create a shameful history . There is nothing anti semetic about challenging such hateful, vindictive actions. And there is nothing to be proud of about settlers living in that area that use all means of violence or degrade them selves with drunkardness on the Sabbeth and piss on Palestinians .

16 ) Hebroni / UK
06/01/2014 10:53
Gobbi. You know nothing about this. Far from being a barren hillside this piece of land is the almond orchard of one of 4 Abu Haikal houses on this hilltop and is directly in front of one of those homes. Jewish settlers have burned and cut dozens of olive and almond trees on this family's land. This is what you call progress ?

17 ) green dog / spain
06/01/2014 13:55
What depressing news. When will the Zionists realise that the more they oppress, the more tremendous the backlash will be? YOU ARE BOTH SEMITES FFS....when will you learn? (and the shoah had NOTHING to do with the palestinians..its about time someone put you right on that one)

18 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
06/01/2014 15:30
Colin smugly gloats "we're not like Israel" - because his slaves are now "citizens". Colin, your country suppressed the natives for 400 years before you let them become citizens and leave their concentration camps. WB and Gaza Palestinians to be citizens of Palestine, not Israel. They will get their country as soon as they sign a peace treaty. You, on the other hand, signed peace treaties with the Indians and then massacred them and shoved em on reservations for another 100 years.

19 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
06/01/2014 15:33
Speaking of "shameful history" - Carole and Greendog Peter all are successful occupation settlers of land that was not theirs. Peter uses the pathetic propaganda lie of "ethnic cleansing" - easy to do from his comfy living room in Saskatoon, eh? Peter can't live with the fact that there is no ethnic cleansing here. There are now more Palestinians in Palestine and Jerusalem than ever before in history. Such liars you all are.

20 ) Jim / USA
06/01/2014 20:07
@ 11) Gabriel/UK "I'll be interested if any of you can justify a military power taking land away from people..." Tell us about it, Gabriel: How did the British acquire (currently still) 14 colonies around the world, on lands not their own? Fourteen current British overseas colonies are: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Overseas_Territories#Current_overseas_territories
At least Israel is "colonizing" its own historical homeland.

21 ) Carlo / UK
07/01/2014 03:08
Israel shud not take palestinian land. Palestine is in peace living among 3 religion previously.Now, what happen ?

22 ) Maureen / Australia
07/01/2014 07:18
#4 Hey Brian Cohen, Google search US Indian reserves and Jews... you just might think twice before accusing anyone else of ethnic cleansing of native Americans!

23 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
07/01/2014 11:58
He Maureen...Google search Australia and aborignes. You should think twice before talking at all. You, my dear, have been still are and always will be an illegal occupier who stole somebody else's entire continent and brought death, disease, destruction and misery to the rightful owners. Ethnic cleansing? You, Maureen, share the award with the Americans for genocide agains the local population, killing off 90% of them! How disgusting.

24 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
07/01/2014 13:26
And finally to Colin and Maureen et al: Israel and the Palestinians are negotiating a peace treaty to divide the land into two separate soveriegn countries. I don't see any of you volunteering to fight and right the wrong by dividing America and Aussieland into two countries each - the conquered part controlled by you and the liberated part ruled by the natives you displaced. Talk is cheap. Put your money where your mouths are.

25 ) ian / australia
07/01/2014 22:01
#2, #4, #18, #19 If you ever wonder why you're loathed around the world, Brian, re-read your posts. Israel may not be "cleansing" the land as gaudily as it did in the forties, but it is "Judaizing", slowly taking over Arab neighbourhoods, evicting, demolishing and infiltrating what is illegally occupied Palestine. And you, Brian, are a creepy and devious apologist for the ongoing crime. THAT'S the issue "hysterical anti-Israel haters" are concerned about. Yet from you, we get trivial

26 ) ian / australia
07/01/2014 22:02
(contd.) nonsense about Palestinian "apartheid", American Indians and cynical formulas like "you want war, we want peace." Yes, Israel wants "peace", but "peace" for Israel means ONE thing: Palestinians accepting three disconnected and isolated prisons as the STATE of Palestine...and abandoning the rest, inc. the Aqsa mosque, forever. THAT'S the reality, under the nifty arguments and cynical verbiage, which you NEVER admit to or address.

27 ) Maureen / Australia
12/01/2014 04:03
#Brian Cohen Read Wikipedia, "Jewish History in Australia."
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