Pastoral Settlement devouring more Palestinian Lands
Many forms of seizing Palestinian lands by the Israeli occupation authorities and Jewish settlers have taken place since the establishment of the state until this moment.
Among its innovative forms are pastoral and agricultural settlements, through which individual settlers and groups graze their livestock on Palestinian lands, and they include it in an existing settlement or build a new outpost on it.
The pastoral settlement, which has spread extensively in the Palestinian Valley, is added to other forms of settlement, such as agricultural, industrial, touristic, orders, and military purposes, enforced by squatter laws and others.
The shepherd settlers target large and open areas of land, and they control more than any natural expansion of any existing settlement.
The occupation began pastoral settlements years ago in the areas of the Palestinian Jordan Valley, and intensified it further in other Palestinian villages and areas in the West Bank, like the towns of Sinjel and Aqraba, located between the cities of Nablus and Ramallah, Jenin, Tubas, and Qalqilya.
Tools and methodology
The pastoral settlement methodology to annex the land is faster, easier, and more feasible, and does not provoke citizens’ protests like other direct expropriation and military orders, as it proceeds smoothly and without direct expropriation orders.
The dangers of pastoral settlement are settlers’ attempt to establish their feet wherever their sheep go, and then build their outposts and provide them with services to turn it into a settlement outpost within a short time.
The occupation authorities legalize the shepherd settlers to pursue Palestinian landowners and prevent them from reconstructing their lands, using a law that says that lands that have not been reclaimed within 10 years are turned into state lands.
Pastoral settlement is not only a violation but a deception as well. It is carried out without military orders or direct confiscation of hand, which has no construction in the first place, and it often targets empty areas, between villages, in order to control its extended lands.
The shepherd settlers receive all the infrastructure services as well as significant financial support and other incentives amounting to millions of shekels from the Settlements Council and the Ministry of Agriculture.
In the West Bank, Israel establishes 94 military sites, 176 settlements, 154 outposts, more than 300 fixed checkpoints, and 60 military and agricultural gates in the separation wall.
Since taking office, Naftali’s government has approved the construction of 2,000 settlements, and the number of settlers, according to Israeli statistics, has increased by 222% since 2000.
In our organization, we call on the international community to stop Israel from annexing more Palestinian lands, most of which are now under Israeli security and administrative control, which makes it impossible to establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank according to the current data, as more than 78% of the area of the West Bank has been occupied.