- The present report, the twelfth quarterly report on the implementation of Security Council resolution 2334 (2016), provides a review and assessment of the implementation of the resolution since my previous report on the subject, which was delivered orally by my Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, on 20 September 2019. The report covers developments from 12 September to 6 December 2019.
II. Settlement activities
In its resolution 2334 (2016), the Security Council reaffirmed that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, had no legal validity and constituted a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace. In the same resolution, the Council reiterated its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in that regard. No such steps were taken during the reporting period.
During the reporting period, some 3,000 housing units in the occupied West Bank, including 300 in East Jerusalem, were advanced or approved by the Israeli authorities. The plans include 182 units in Mevo’ot Yericho, an outpost in the Jordan Valley that the Government of Israel decided, on 15 September, to retroactively legalize as a new settlement. Other notable plans include 382 units in Dolev, west of Ramallah, and 609 units in the large urban settlement of Beitar Elit, west of Bethlehem. Some 40 per cent of the units advanced are to be built in outlying locations, deep inside the occupied West Bank. No new tenders were announced.
On 15 September, a new farm comprising one portable housing unit was reportedly established by Israeli settlers in Umm al-Hawa, east of the Kedar settlement, in Area C of the West Bank. The settlers reportedly claimed that they had bought the land from the Palestinian owners, which the latter deny. A petition was filed by the owners before the High Court of Justice, where a discussion is scheduled for 20 January 2020.
On 1 December, the Defense Minister of Israel instructed the Civil Administration to act “to advance planning procedures” for a new structure for Israeli settlers in the wholesale market in the Old City of Hebron.
On several occasions during the reporting period, Israeli authorities reportedly demolished structures or prevented construction in settlement outposts, including near Yitzhar, Bat Ayin and Kokhav HaShahar, resulting in clashes between settlers and Israeli security forces.
During the reporting period, demolitions and seizures of Palestinian-owned structures continued across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Citing the absence of Israeli-issued building permits, which remain almost impossible for Palestinians to obtain, Israeli authorities demolished or seized 150 structures, resulting in the displacement of 260 people, including 133 children and some 60 women, and leaving 1,800 others affected. A total of 16 of the structures were demolished on the basis of military order No. 1797, which authorizes an expedited process that gives owners only 96 hours to demonstrate that they possess a valid building permit. The demolitions in Area C included 26 donor-funded structures.