Photo: Ofer Amram
MK Rabbi Yitzhak Levy
Photo: Ofer Amram
Photo: Pierre Turgeman
MK Nissan Slomiansky
Photo: Pierre Turgeman

MKs: New phenomena - illegal Arab settlements

Knesset members tour West Bank security fence, say Arabs building west of fence to receive Israeli citizenship. 'We will act against leaving thousands of acres outside of security fence needed for expansion of Efrat,' they say

In a tour of Gush Etzion and Rachel's Tomb in the West Bank on Tuesday, Knesset members from the right pointed out that there seems to be a new phenomena brewing in the West Bank: Illegal outposts erected by Arabs who are settling west of the security fence in order to get Israeli citizenship when the day arrives.


"We decided to act against the decision to leave thousands of acres of Israeli lands which were purchased by the Jewish National Fund outside of the security fence. These lands are land reserves for Efrat, and 40 percent of them are now on the other side of the fence in its current state," said one of the MKs.


"We were surprised to see the current route of the fence which was built only a few meters from the homes in Efrat while the government does not allow the residents of Efrat to build one more house," the MKs said. According to them, many of the younger generation in Efrat are leaving because there is no room to live anymore.


"Even my two sons have left, despite their wishes to stay," said head of the Efrat local council Eli Mizrahi. According to the figures given by the National Union-National Religious Party, there are 17,000 Arabs and 55,000 Jews living in Gush Etzion.


MK Nissan Slomiansky added: "We will fight the decision to leave wide spaces to Palestinian control where shots are fired even today towards the communities in the area." When asked about the ways of their struggle, the MK replied: "In the normal parliamentary ways."


MK Rabbi Yitzhak Levy told Ynet that "there is a need to begin developing the area of Rachel's Tomb and return the yeshiva which operated here in the past. It's wrong that the access to the tomb is so difficult. It's wrong that it is so difficult to reach this place."


In contrast to the left wing opposition to the security fence, the MKs from the National Union-NRP think that the solution should be different and there is a need to put up more checkpoints. According to them, the fence is likely to cement the border, something they oppose.


פרסום ראשון: 11.15.06, 00:21
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