The European Union has spent half-a-billion dollars over the last seven years to support a Palestinian Authority plan to control Area C of the West Bank, an Intelligence Ministry report publicly released Tuesday.
“Foreign assistance as a significant accelerator in the takeover processes,” stated the report by the ministry’s research division, which was authored in June and published this week for Tuesday’s debate in the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on the matter.
“The rough estimate is that from the period of 2014-2021, at least half-a-billion dollars were transferred to the Palestinians through various channels and it’s possible that the sum was larger,” the report stated.
An annual sum of some €20 million is earmarked for Palestinian legal battles against settlements and the security barrier, the report stated.
All the territories except Gaza were divided into Areas A, B, and C in 1995 by the Oslo II Agreement. Area A includes major Arab population centers, and is under complete PA security and civil control. That means that PA provides all needed services to the population, including counter-terrorism and law enforcement. The IDF only enters Area A when it is absolutely necessary, and coordinates with the PA to locate and apprehend terrorists (needless to say, this procedure can break down when a wanted terrorist is associated with the PA’s ruling Fatah faction). Area B is under Israeli security control and PA civil control. It is made up of areas with Arab populations that, because of their strategic location or nature, must be under IDF control. About 90% of the Arab population of the territories lives in areas A and B.
Area C, which is about 60% of the land area in question, is under complete Israeli control. It comprises all Jewish communities and military installations in the territories, and contains their entire Jewish population. It also includes strategic areas. Some 450,000 Jews and 180,000 Palestinians live in Area C. Some right-wing parties have advocated annexing or extending Israeli law to Area C, and even most “2-state” proponents agree that for security reasons, and to avoid expelling hundreds of thousands of Jews from their homes, at least parts of Area C must become part of Israel.
In 2009, former Palestinian Authority Prime Minister and Finance Minister Salam Fayyad, in cooperation with the Obama Administration and the EU, came up with a plan to unilaterally establish a Palestinian state, regardless of Israeli wishes. Fayyad envisioned establishing all the pieces of a government and an economy before declaring the state, much like the Zionists did in the pre-state Yishuv. Detailed plans were written, with a high degree of detail and attention to concepts like justice, democracy, and even environmentalism, that would appeal to the Western technocrats who were to pay for the project. The contrast with the actual behavior of the PA, toward its citizens, the environment, and Israel, is striking.
The stated goal is to create a “sovereign and independent state on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital, and reach a just and agreed solution for Palestinian refugees in accordance with relevant international resolutions, and UN General Assembly Resolution 194 in particular.” If you think the plan might not be problematic for Israel, let me remind you that the PLO has always interpreted 194 to mean that all the descendants of Arab refugees of 1948 can choose to return “home” to Israel, or be compensated for the loss of their “property.”
The plan requires maximum land area under Palestinian control and maximum contiguity thereof, so control of Area C and the expulsion of as many Jews as possible is critical to it. Although Fayyad was pushed out in 2013 by a jealous Mahmoud Abbas (he went to work at various prestigious educational institutions and think tanks), the implementation of the plan continued under his successors.
American funding for the project began with the Obama Administration, stopped under Trump, and is being restarted by Biden. But the lion’s share has come from European sources. Regavim, an Israeli organization dedicated to protecting Israeli lands (both within and outside of the pre-1967 lines), explains some of the methods used by the Palestinians and their European partners to take de facto control of land in the most strategic parts of Area C, such as “E1,” located between Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim:
The method is simple: E.U. vehicles station water cisterns and solar panels in strategic spots in Area C. Bedouin clans then create encampments around these critical resources, and the rest is history: The Jahalin clan and the residents of Khan al Akhmar are two well-known examples of the results.
Another ploy is to build an illegal structure at a strategic location, and to post signs designating it a “school” or a “hospital.” If Israel attempts to remove it – remember, the area is supposedly under full Israeli control, which includes zoning and issuing building permits – then she is alleged to be guilty of an inhumane act, or even a war crime. It’s ironic that at the same time, Palestinians and their supporters claim that Israel is “gobbling Palestinian land” by “settlement construction,” when in fact there is almost no construction of new communities and minimal construction inside old ones going on.
The Israeli government does sometimes take action, often when prodded by Regavim, but equally often the thefts of land are simply ignored. I think this is because many Israeli officials, even ones that are supposedly “right-wing,” have internalized the idea that a Palestinian state of some kind is both benign and inevitable. It had better not be inevitable, because nothing about it is benign. The Fayyad plan is essentially a detailed blueprint for the implementation of Arafat’s “Phased Plan” for the replacement of Israel by an Arab state (Fayyad was Arafat’s Finance Minister in the PA’s 2002 government).
It is difficult to think that the European – and American – officials believe that they are doing anything less than working to subvert the Jewish state. It is difficult to think that they are so credulous as to actually believe that the Palestinian State that they are creating on top of us will be democratic, peaceful, and neighborly. Finally, it is impossible to accept that they don’t have the imagination to picture what is likely to happen here if the PLO succeeds in implementing its plan.
What they are doing is an act of war. I would say it is flying under the radar of the citizens of their countries who are paying for it, but the truth is that most of those citizens couldn’t care less about what happens in this tiny spot in the Mideast.
But we, who live here, care, and it’s up to us to make our government carry out its responsibility to defend its citizens, which in this case also means to protect our lands from being nibbled away.