By Cheryl Hancock-Watts, Reporting from Israel, Special to ASSIST News Service
ISRAEL (ANS – December 2, 2017) — In a letter to Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, 10 Democrat Senators called on him to ignore illegal Arab villages, two of which are scheduled for demolition within a few weeks. Some who signed the letter are Senators, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Diane Feinstein, Al Franken and Brian Schatz, along with other Democrats.
Most people in the West do not realize that the majority of the building in Israel is done by Arabs. I stay in a village to the east of Jerusalem. In past years, I would drive through the tunnel leading from Jerusalem, and all I that I could see coming out of the tunnel was a beautiful desert on the road to Jericho. About eight years ago a strange thing began happening; the view of the desert was slowly disappearing while buildings were rising up from the sand, so it seemed. And now I look for the desert that was once there, but in vain, as more concrete replaces the beautiful landscaped desert. One interesting fact about the new building is that most of them do not have occupants…they are empty and without windows and doors…for some years now!
I could not understand why there has been no mention of this “illegal Arab building” going on, while every apartment that is built by Israel sparks international outcry. The truth is that Israel is building homes in growing neighborhoods, but has not built a new “settlement,” Netanyahu said, “in 25 years.” Yet the Palestinian Authority (PA) allowed many villages to be built and expanded illegally in Area C of the “West Bank.”
There are 3 areas of the ‘West Bank’ (of the Jordan River) these are Areas A, B, and C. Area A is completely administered by the PA, such as Bethlehem, Jericho and Ramallah, etc. Area B is jointly administered by the PA and Israel, and Area C is administered by Israel only. Area A and B comprises approximately 40% of the West Bank and together is home to almost 3 million ‘Palestinians’. Area C is home to 150,000 Palestinians and 390,250 Israelis.
Areas A and B are the most likely candidates for a Palestinian State, while Area C is considered “disputed” territory because it’s waiting to be negotiated by the PA & Israel as to who gets what. Area C is also sometimes incorrectly referred to as “Palestinian Territory,” or “Occupied Territory.” This is where confusion comes in, using these incorrect terms makes it sound like Israel is “occupying” Palestinian land, or that Area C already has an “owner” being the ‘Palestinians’. When in fact Area C is administered only by Israel, and the land is shared by both Israelis and “Palestinians” while awaiting peace negotiations.
Today there are many Arab villages that have sprung up within the past 8 years. Israel’s law is to demolish any illegal buildings whether Israeli or “Palestinian.” There have been many devastated Jews who were evacuated and their illegal homes demolished, but Israel has demolished very few Arab homes built illegally. Their law was passed but rarely implemented until now. If Israel’s planned demolition of two villages actually occurs, I’m sure the World will hear of it, and if it doesn’t happen, then more Arab villages will rise in Area C on the “West Bank” of the Jordan River in the Land of Israel.
Photo captions: 1) An Arab village under construction outside of Jerusalem. 2) Map of Areas A, B & C. 3) Jerusalem Desert where many Arab buildings are under construction. 4) Cheryl with her husband, Len, outside the Knesset, the Israel Parliament.
About the writer: Cheryl Hancock-Watts is a native Californian who moved to Israel in May of 1999 as a Christian and Journalist. She gets involved with the various people groups of Israel taking aid and hope to those in need, while bringing truth concerning Israel via the media to the West. Cheryl has been a member of the International Press Association since 2001 and a member of the Government Press Office in Jerusalem. She provides radio interviews from Israel to stations in the U.S., and is a freelance writer for various media outlets. Cheryl married Len Watts in 2014, and together they continue the work in Israel while speaking internationally in churches, and through radio and TV broadcasts. You can receive their “Israel Updates” at: email@example.com
Note: To listen to my recent interview with Cheryl on my “Front Page Radio” show, please go to: http://frontpageradio.net/frontpageradiofiles/CherylHancock-WattsFPR20171001Mono.mp3
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