JERUSALEM, Friday, Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said in a special report on Friday that the planning apparatus Israel has instituted in the West Bank serves its policy of promoting and expanding Israeli takeover of land across the West Bank.
Titled Fake Justice: The Responsibility Israel’s High Court Justices Bear for the Demolition of Palestinian Homes and the Dispossession of Palestinians, the report said that when planning for Palestinians, the Israeli Civil Administration endeavors to obstruct development, minimize the size of communities and increase construction density, with a view to keeping as many land reserves as possible for the benefit of Israeli interests, first and foremost for the expansion of settlements.
Yet when planning for settlements, whose very establishment is unlawful in the first place, the Civil Administration’s actions are the very reverse: planning reflects settlements’ present and future needs, aiming to include as much land as possible in the outline plan so as to take over as many land resources as possible, added the report.
Second, Israel has changed the Jordanian Planning Law that applies in the West Bank, replacing many of its provisions with those of a military order which transferred all planning authority in the West Bank to the Civil Administration’s Supreme Planning Council and eliminated Palestinian representation on planning committees, B’Tselem continued.
Third, Israel takes advantage of its exclusive power over the planning apparatus to prevent virtually all Palestinian development and to increase construction density even on the remaining 40% of land where it does not a priori prohibit Palestinian construction.
Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency (WAFA)