Op-Ed: The Illegal Palestinian Settlements You've Never Heard Of


This is Part 1 of a 10-part series exposing the underreported joint European and Palestinian program to bypass international law and establish a de facto Palestinian state on Israeli land. 

For decades, members of the media, activist groups, academics, international organizations, NGOs and countless politicians have insisted that Jewish settlements in the West Bank are the primary obstacle to peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

These settlements allegedly represent an illegal and inhumane “occupation,” and until they are dismantled and the territory handed over to a Palestinian state, there will be no resolution to the conflict.

Beyond these power broker narratives exists another dimension to the story that is deliberately neglected worldwide.

It is a far more labyrinthine and sinister tale — one of stunning hypocrisy, moral bankruptcy, quasi-legal bureaucracy and colossal abuse of international law that exposes the ideological motivations and bad-faith actors at the core of an Israeli-European alliance supposedly based on “shared democratic values.”

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It begins with a little-known 2009 document and ends with the illicit Palestinian takeover of hundreds of thousands of dunams of internationally recognized Israeli land, with direct subsidization and encouragement from the European Union.

In 1993, in Oslo, Norway, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian terrorist-cum-statesman Yasser Arafat signed the first and only agreement achieved between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Brokered by the U.S. under President Bill Clinton and witnessed by the EU, a critical component of the treaty called Oslo II, also known as the Taba Agreement or the 1995 Interim Agreement, separated the West Bank into three jurisdictions and outlined the specific responsibilities and obligations of its administrators.

Area A would be exclusively controlled, both for civil and security matters, by the Palestinian Authority. Area B would be administered in all civil matters by the PA while the Israeli government would maintain peripheral security jurisdiction, and Area C would be solely administered by Israel.

In other words, Israel’s complete jurisdiction over Area C, which legally includes building permits, zoning, construction, law enforcement and planning, has been recognized by the Palestinian leadership and the world at large for almost three decades.

As stipulated in the agreement, only when direct negotiations determine the permanent fate of the territories occupied by Jordan until 1967 can the Oslo Accords be replaced. Until then, it is the law.

Unlike United Nations General Assembly resolutions, which are non-binding, the Oslo Accords are legally obligatory. Yet on Aug. 23, 2009, 14 years after the signing of Oslo, Salam Fayyad, then the prime minister of the PA, published a blueprint titled, “Palestine: Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State,” in which the Oslo framework was officially abandoned and direct negotiations rejected. Instead, Fayyad explicitly called for the creation of a de-facto Palestinian state in Area C.

Known today as the Fayyad plan, this was a plot to disregard the territorial divisions in the West Bank established by Oslo and effectively annex the land by building strategically throughout Area C, creating irreversible possession and establishing an extra-judicial foothold in an off-limits region, eventually reshaping the demographic facts on the ground.

Part 2 can be found here.

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Karys Rhea is the associate producer of "American Thought Leaders" and "Kash’s Corner" at The Epoch Times. She also works with the Middle East Forum, Jewish Leadership Project and Baste Records.