update deskIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

Yesha Council head warns of PA plan to ‘dissect’ Judea and Samaria

Palestinian Authority construction projects are being designed to take the high ground overlooking critical transportation arteries, according to Israel Gantz.

Israel Gantz, head of the Binyamin Regional Council and Yesha Council, shows a map to Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (r). Credit: Binyamin Regional Council.
Israel Gantz, head of the Binyamin Regional Council and Yesha Council, shows a map to Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (r). Credit: Binyamin Regional Council.

A settlement leader warned the Israeli government last week that it must stop a Palestinian Authority plan to isolate Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

In a June 25 letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and other Cabinet members, Israel Gantz, head of the Binyamin Regional Council and chairman of the Yesha Council, warned that ongoing P.A. construction projects in the region are designed to take the high ground overlooking critical transportation arteries.

“Large residential and infrastructure construction projects are being built on the ridges that dominate the connections between Highway 60 and Highway 465,” the letter states. Highway 60 runs north-south; Highway 465 east-west.

“They [the P.A.] act in a strategic and calculated manner to isolate the settlements into enclaves, control the highways and central roads and create a significant Arab continuum,” the letter continues.

“Once this partition plan is completed, the Arabs will have territorial continuity from Jerusalem to the Ariel region. This is a dangerous continuum that the State of Israel cannot allow,” it states.

The P.A. plan is already in its advanced stages, Gantz warned.

He specifically pointed to massive P.A. construction near the British Police Junction on Highway 60 (named after a British police station established during the Mandate period). Much of the area in question is in Area B, designated by the Oslo Accords as under both P.A. and Israeli administrative control. Area B makes up about 22% of Judea and Samaria.

Gantz called on the government to prevent the P.A. from gaining control of the heights as Judea and Samaria are key to Israel’s national security. “After Oct. 7, there is no need to exaggerate the significance of such construction plans,” he said.

Urging that all means be taken to halt the rampant Arab construction, he said a message must be sent that Israel won’t permit “the strangulation and loss of territory.”

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